India's Rohan More recently became the first Asian swimmer and the youngest ever to swim across the Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand.
More completed the feat in eight hours and 37 minutes. Starting from the North Island in temperatures of around 19 degrees Celsius, More battled inclement weather and a sudden drop in temperature to complete the task.
With this feat, More became the ninth person in the world to complete the Ocean's Seven marathon.
The Ocean's Seven consists of seven long-distance open-water swims, which includes the North Channel, the Cook Strait, the Molokai Channel, the English Channel, the Catalina Channel, the Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.
He is a national figure and has received the Tenzing Norgay Award from the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The award, also known as the National Adventure Award, was presented by President Ram Nath Kovind, says a report by Times Of India.
Rohan, who started swimming in early 90s at the age of four had weak lungs and his mother was advised by the family doctor to put him in some sport so that he could increase his strength. He was phobic to water when he started but soon things changed and he started practising swimming regularly. In 2015, the More’s father suffered a brain stroke and life changed for the family. Rohan had to move back to India from Abu Dhabi where he was on work assignments since 2013.
Speaking to Indian Express, he says,
After coming here, it became very difficult for me to manage the swimming expenses along with the household. So it took quite a while to complete this challenge due to financial problems.
When asked if he has ever felt like quitting during the last feat, he said
While swimming the English Channel, I really thought of giving up after eight hours of swimming. My body was so tired and I was continuously vomiting for five hours, I had nothing left in my body. But at that moment the official observer of the CSPF (Channel swimming & Pilot Federation) started waving the Indian flag to encourage me. I don’t know what happened but I gave up the idea of giving up and started swimming strongly and finished it. I think the Tricolour motivated me to carry on.
With inputs from IANS