Indian kid wins Oz swimming event in crocodile-infested waters

"Swapnali entered the Limca Book of Records as the youngest participant in the world and the first Indian to win the competition," a release said today.

The Mumbai girl won the first Kimberley National Lake Argyle Swim that was held in Australia's second-biggest artificial lake early this month.

The event was organised by Lake Argyle Swim Inc., under the auspices of the Association of Swimming Australia, the local Western Australian government, the Department of Sports and Recreation and world body FINA.

Swapnali was a special invitee for the 20km Open swim in the 80km picturesque lake in Kununurra, Western Australia that is 21 times bigger than the Sydney Harbour and is infested with about 35,000 crocodiles.

Swapnali won the Women's category, and finished second overall in the Open category to do India proud.

Swapnali completed the swim in an impressive time of 7:7;24secs.
"It was a real challenge. But I was confident of completing the swim. I had seen Lake Argyle on the internet before I thought the swim would be interesting," Swapnali said.
"My dream is to represent India in the Olympics and swim the English Channel," she added.

At 12 years, four months and 25 days, Swapnali became the youngest and the first Indian to win the competition, which has earned her a place in the Limca Book of Records yet again after her earlier feats that earned her a place in the record books.

"Swapnali's entry attracted plenty of attention. She braved the crocodiles and was an inspiration to other swimmers. She is now the 'Crocodile Princess'," said Taneille Anderson, coordinator and president of Lake Argyle Swim Inc.

"Lake Argyle is unique among Australia's long-distance swims. In comparison to ocean swims where the horizons are normally boring, competitors are overawed by the magnificent landscape," Anderson added.

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