Indian swimmer equals world record in first attempt at Sea of Galilee in Israel

Jerusalem: Indian swimmer, Aryan Singh Dadiala, on Friday, equalled the existing world record of the fastest male swimmer to swim the Sea of Galilee, braving extreme weather conditions.

Sea Of Galilee is the second lowest water body in the world, approximately 214 metres below sea level, and poses multiple challenges such as whirlpools and indefinite wind storms.

Dadiala, 21, who set a world record in November 2022 in Goa finishing 32 km open water sea swimming in 5 hours 36 minutes, is the first Asian swimmer to swim the Sea of Galilee.

He started his swim at 5.18 am on Friday when it was pitch dark and extremely cold and finished the challenging swim at 11:33 am, equalling an existing world record of the fastest male swimmer to swim the Sea of Galilee in his very first attempt.

The record for the fastest one-way swim was set by Guy Cohen in 2017 in his seventh attempt, as per records shared with PTI by Aryan’s father, Surjeet Dadiala, who called it a “proud moment for the country”.

“Aryan faced many weather-related and physical challenges during his swim, such as heavy winds and fatigue but was firm and focussed on his swimming”, Surjeet told PTI.

The event was observed and certified by Galilee Marathon Swimming Association, Israel and flagged off by Indian diplomat Pawan K. Pal, who leads the public diplomacy division at the Indian embassy in Tel Aviv.

“Aryan Singh Dadiala, a 21 yr old Indian swimmer breaks barriers and swam across the #SeaofGalilee (20.5 km length) in 6hrs 15 mins.”, a tweet from the Indian mission said.

“Congratulations to this young talent for displaying incredible feat of determination and skill”, it added.

Aryan said that he took up the challenge in order to “strengthen India and Israel relationship”.

He said that he is “extremely impressed” with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji’s — the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel in 2017.

The swimmer was accompanied by his entire family, Coach Rahul Chiplunkar, Guide Subodh Sule and crew Pavitra Poilkar during this major attempt and is keen to take up such challenges also in the future highlighting different causes.

Aryan moved to Spire Institute and Academy in Ohio, United States, in 2018 for two years and was later made its Brand Ambassador for India.

A champion swimmer with more than a hundred medals to his credit and also an avid sprinter, the young sportsman has been promoting several humanitarian causes through his athletic prowess.