International Open Water Swimmer Jharna Kumawat of Udaipur has brought honor to the City of Lakes by successfully swimming across the English Channel.
Jharna accomplished this feat on August 3, 2022 as a member of a relay team, having swimmers from Brazil, Mozambique, Kenya, Peru and Indonesia. Jharna and her team accomplished this 33km swimming feat despite the challenges posed by high tide and bad weather. Jharna, a resident of Essex in UK for the last 12 years, works as a Contract Officer with the National Health Services in United Kingdom and participated in this event, which was organized by Swimtayka, a UK based Charity organization.
Jharna’s journey for the English Channel feat was spread over a period of three years, during which she also participated in the London Swimming Marathon. Her selection by the English Channel Federation for this journey was a dream come true, says Jharna.
A dangerous journey in the high seas
The 33-kilometer sea trip from Dover beach in England to the shores of France was dangerous, considering the high tide and bad weather. This danger didn’t break the spirit of Jharna and her team, who completed the journey in 14 hours and 40 minutes. The initial schedule received for this effort was on 29 July, however bad weather led to the August 3 date.
Jharna needed to swim in two slots
As a part of the team, each member was supposed to swim in 75 minute slots. Jharna, being the 5th in sequence, had to do two 75 minute sessions. She swam for 4.5km in her first 75 minute session that began at 7pm on August 3 and her next 75 minute slot was at 2am the next day. Jharna completed both her slots successfully, but by the end of the second session, the cold, salty and rough seas made her weary from sea sickness and vomiting. Jharna, who has Type 1 Diabetes, requires regular checkups and even throughout her swim across the English Channel, she had to take periodic injections.