Assam man swims for 26 hours to promote water sports

August 29th, 2008 - 1:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Guwahati, Aug 29 (IANS) Assam’s star swimmer, 26-year-old Elvis Ali Hazarika, has created a sensation by swimming non-stop for 26 hours at a local pool here with the sole aim of promoting water sports among the youth and attracting sponsorship for the discipline. The marathon swim ended 10 p.m. Thursday with an exhausted Elvis, a national award winning swimmer and an inspector with the Central Reserve Police Force, being immediately taken to the ICU of a local hospital for medication.

“Elvis is fine now and should be out of the ICU soon,” doctors at the GNRC Hospital said.

As Elvis took the last lap of the 60 metre pool, a massive crowd roared and cheered the international swimmer.

“This is a remarkable feat by Elvis. Although he was just on fluid during the 26 hours of non-stop swimming, Elvis was absolutely stable, barring complaints of body ache and we sprayed some pain killers on his body for relief,” Rajib Baruah, an official of the Assam Board of Sports, said.

The decision to undertake the marathon swim was aimed at promoting water sports and making sure authorities and sponsors take the game seriously.

“Swimming in India is still taken as a recreation sport and hence the idea to undertake this marathon swim. I am happy that I was able to accomplish my target and hope my effort helps in encouraging the younger generation to take up swimming seriously,” Elvis said Friday.

Elvis took to the pool with freestyle and enthralled the crowd with all sorts of swimming styles. “I sincerely hope the authorities and sponsors would take the sport seriously now,” Elvis said.

“We hope Elvis’ feat would be an inspiration for the younger generation,” coach Illian Ali said as he prodded and encouraged Elvis throughout the marathon swim.

“The entire event was organised by the family and well wishers of Elvis although the Assam Board of Sports supported the marathon swim,” a family member said.

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