609 in 2015 and later

648 past in 2015 (updated 17-07-'15)

Bangladesh's most celebrated swimmer hangs up trunks at 67

After nearly half a century navigating Bangladesh's thousands of kilometres of rivers, the country's most celebrated swimmer has hung up his trunks - but not before one final, arduous paddle upstream.

Kshitindra Baisya, 67, plans to spend his retirement on dry land inspiring younger generations to embrace the water in a country criss-crossed by huge rivers but where few swim.

"I didn't have much idea about the beauty of this country until I swam dozens of its rivers," Baisya told AFP.

A veteran of Bangladesh's 1971 independence war against Pakistan, Baisya taught himself to swim at 18 and before long was paddling marathon distances along murky channels.

Read the full article @channelnewsasia