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Published: Saturday September 15, 2012 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday June 1, 2013 MYT 11:37:47 PM

Sabahan to swim across 16˚C English Channel on Malaysia Day

Warming up: Estino (left) together with Arof walking back to Dover Beach after finishing their morning
exercise in preparation to cross the 35km English Channel. — Bernama

Warming up: Estino (left) together with Arof walking back to Dover Beach after finishing their morning exercise in preparation to cross the 35km English Channel. — Bernama

DOVER: A Sabahan will be taking the lead in the Malaysian Armed Forces' challenge to conquer the chilly waters of the English Channel this Malaysia Day.

Estino Taniyu, a 24-year-old navy personnel from Semporna, Sabah, will swim solo from Dover in Britain to Calais in France.

Eight others will swim in a relay.

Three of the eight relay swimmers are from the army, three from the air force and two from the navy.

The event is organised by the Malaysian 7 Continents Exploration Club and is under the patronage of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The participants have been in Dover from Aug 24 to get acclimatised to the weather and water temperature.

They were at the beach yesterday doing some light exercises under the guidance of trainer and coach Arof Omar, a former navy man.

Arof had also trained Zahra Abdul Halim, the 17-year-old Malaysian who abandoned her attempt in 2009 due to unfavourable tide and wind conditions.

In 2003, Abdul Malik Mydin, became the first Malaysian to swim across the English Channel.

Of the 14 personnel who left Malaysia a few days after Aidilfitri, only nine will be shortlisted. The regulations stipulate that solo swimmers participating in the challenge must be able to endure a minimum of six hours in the water at a temperature of 16°C while relay swimmers must be able to withstand two hours in the water at the same temperature.

On the day of the challenge, each relay swimmer must swim for at least one hour before the next one can take over until they reach Calais and return.

This is to ensure that they are fit enough to face the task under the regulations of the Channel Swimming and Piloting Federation. - Bernama

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