At 47, Syamala Goli from Hyderabad took the dangerous step of swimming the 30-kilometre Palk Strait. Swimming nonstop for 13 hours and 43 minutes, she became the second women in the world to achieve the tedious feat across the strait that was full of sea snakes and other dangerous marine creatures.
Syamala Goli is the 13th person in the world to have crossed the Palk Strait. At 4.15 in the morning on March 19, she dashed into the waters from the Sri Lankan Coast and swam to Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu.
A passionate swimmer, Shyamala crossed the Palk Strait in 13 hours 43 minutes
She is a Hyderabad based entrepreneur. Senior IPS officer Rajiv Trivedi trained and guided her for the event. Trivedi himself had set a world record in 2012, when he, along with Balasaheb Ramchandra Ghadge, another police officer from Maharashtra, swam the strait in 12 hours and 30 minutes. They became the fasted to cross the Strait.
For the Palk Strait feat, she underwent rigorous training for two years. In her trip, a 14-member crew, including a doctor and observers from the Swimming Federation of India, followed her. Despite the waves pushing her hard, she did not give up. Her only intention was to finish the feat at the best time.
She is an entrepreneur and had run an animation company in Hyderabad for over ten years. But when losses heaped up, she shut her shop. She joined swimming classes in 2016 considering that women of her age wanted some exercise. However, she developed a passion for swimming and later went for competitions.
Syamala represented Telangana in FINA World Masters Championship in Gwanju, South Korea. She had also swam the Ganges, a distance of 13-km.
She is a post-graduate in Sociology, She now runs a playschool to fund her passion.