Closure of my pool for renovation and limited practice hours on another rented pool certainly affected of Sampanna’s training but not fully. He partially compensated this by adding more iron in weight room and strict protein diet regime. This put him to 4th place overall, beating even winner of senior category in annual 5K Sea Swimming Race from Sunk Rock Light House to Gate Way of India in the Mumbai on 10th Feb. 2015.
In just twenty hours later, Sampanna Shelar again jumped in the Arabian Sea and this time for longer shot. In a process, he became first & only swimmer to swim across Prawn’s Light House to Vashi Bridge, a 30K Stretch in 4 hrs 47 min.
We could not actually anchor and embark on Light House due to high tide & big swell. So Sampanna had to jump from trawler parallel to it. The route was more or less familiar to him as last year he had swum on the same path but different landing & lesser distance. So he was actually correlating his previous experience during this swim. “My Coach was demonstrating me usual signs of distance, time & directions in last 2K but I was not able to nearing the bridge”. That’s typical but true. Due to time constrain, Sampanna could train fast but not long enough. “It was hell lot of energy & fatigue”. He added. His goggle irritated him entire distance. They were filled with salty & muddy water and sometime oily due to leakage. This consumed lots of time in re-adjusting. “They are my lucky pairs; yesterday they were nice & comfortable in the race. My eyes are swollen now” Sampanna murmured with sheer distress.
He was greeted by few pop up Dolphins at the start and bunch of Seagulls in last precinct. But young boy had different thoughts in mind. “Not frightened..” He mentioned “But, I was clumsy to see a midget Lobster in our Navigator’s hand and to know that there are many of these bigger weird creatures in the sea, I had Goosebumps” Nevertheless, Sampanna now carried “First & Only’ crown.
Just three days after his teammates & friends visited his home to congratulate him with a nosegay and surprise to make out his ‘No Show’. But Sampanna has different plans. He is already traveling for Bigger Show and this time its 39 K Sea Swim in Gujrath.
Swimming Coach, India