Former National Champion Swimmer Arun Kumar Shaw Dead

Former National Champion Swimmer Arun Kumar Shaw Dead

Arun Kumar Shaw died in Kolkata following prolonged illness. (Representational Image) © AFP

Seven-time national champion swimmer Arun Kumar Shaw died in Kolkata on Thursday following prolonged illness, Bengal Amateur Swimming Association confirmed in a statement. Shaw, 82, is survived by his wife. Shaw, who was the first swimmer from the state to receive the Arjuna Award in 1967, bagged his maiden national championship in 1958 as a member of the Bengal team before joining the South Eastern Railway.

Shaw won national championships in 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965-67 and set national records many times.

Shaw was also a national selector for several years.

Paying homage to Shaw, Bengal Amateur Swimming Association said in the statement:

“We pay our respectable homage to the departed soul of Arun Shaw and pray Almighty may his soul rest in peace.

“We have also received a condolence message from Shri Virendra Nanavati, Vice-President, IOA and CEO, Swimming Federation of India, which is also sent to you for your kind information,” Bengal Amateur Swimming Association president Ramanuj Mukhopadhyay said.

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Swimmer Dies In Stingray Attack Near Australia’s Lauderdale Beach

Commonly found in tropical waters, stingrays are flattish, diamond-shaped fish that rarely attack humans.


A swimmer has died after a stab to his stomach in a suspected stingray attack off an Australian beach, in a rare fatal encounter with the fish.

The 42-year-old’s death came more than a decade after world-renowned “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin was killed when a stingray barb punctured his chest while he was filming on the famed Great Barrier Reef.

The man was in waters off Lauderdale Beach some 23 kilometres (14 miles) from Hobart in the southern island state of Tasmania on Saturday when he “sustained a puncture wound to his lower abdomen… possibly inflicted by a marine animal”, police said.

He was brought onto the beach by friends but suffered a heart attack and was unable to be resuscitated, police added.

“It’s consistent with (a stingray injury) but further investigation and examination of the deceased may be able to give a bit more of a concrete fact on that,” Tasmania Police Senior Constable Brett Bowering told the Sunday Tasmanian.

“It’s a pretty traumatic incident to see.”

Locals told the Tasmanian the man swam frequently at the beach.

Commonly found in tropical waters, stingrays are a flattish, diamond-shaped fish that rarely attack humans.

But their barbs, at the end of their tails, are coated in toxic venom which they use to defend themselves when threatened. 

Most injuries result from people stepping on them in shallow water and getting a barb in the ankle, experts say.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Doping Case Hits Asian Games As Swimmer Rikako Ikee Eyes History

A wrestler from Turkmenistan became the Asian Games’ first doping casualty on Friday as Japanese teenage swimmer Rikako Ikee stood on the brink of a historic sixth gold medal. Rustem Nazarov was disqualified from the Games in Indonesia after failing a pre-tournament test for the banned masking agent furosemide, the Olympic Council of Asia said. Nazarov “has been disqualified from the 18th Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games 2018… and his results during the competition held on the 19th August annulled”, a statement said. The athlete, 24, had competed in the men’s 57kg freestyle event and was defeated in his first match by India’s Sandeep Tomar.

Six athletes tested positive at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon including South Korean swimming star Park Tae-hwan, who was stripped of his medals.

Elsewhere Ikee, 18, topped the 50 metres freestyle heats in Jakarta as she drew closer to becoming the first woman to win six gold medals in any sport at a single Games.

Ikee, who is poised to become the face of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, swam 25.09 seconds in the morning session and afterwards said: “I just hate losing.”

“I’ll win through sheer willpower if I have to,” she added.

China’s Liu Xiang, who set a world record in the 50m backstroke earlier this week, will look to dash Ikee’s ambitions after winning her heat in 25.14.

Chinese triple Olympic champion and world-record holder Sun Yang will be the red-hot favourite in the men’s 1,500m as he looks for his fourth gold medal on the final night in the pool.

In co-host city Palembang, Indonesia won their first ever rowing gold in the lightweight eight, a victory which crew member Tanzil Hadid dedicated to the newborn baby he is still yet to meet.

Unified Korea, a team of North and South Korean rowers which is testament to warming ties, came fifth in the lightweight men’s eight and last in the women’s lightweight double sculls.

In cycling, South Korea’s Na Ah-reum added the women’s time trial to her road race title, becoming the first Games cyclist to do so.

China lead the medals table with 60 golds to Japan’s 26 and South Korea’s 19 as competition continues on day six.

About 17,000 athletes and officials are taking part in the 18th Asian Games, the biggest sports event in Indonesia’s history.

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Japan Swimmer Rikako Ikee Pursues Asiad Record Haul

Japan’s athlete of the moment Rikako Ikee continued her relentless pursuit of Asian Games history on Friday by topping the times in the 50 metres freestyle heats. The 18-year-old breakout star won her heat in a time of 25.09 seconds as she chases a record sixth swimming gold on the final day of the pool competition in Jakarta. Ikee, who is poised to become the face of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in her home city, is threatening to stamp her name all over the Asian Games. She has already snaffled gold in the 50m fly, 100m fly, 100m free, 4x100m free and the 4x100m medley in an electrifying week.

“I just hate losing,” said Ikee, her wide grin concealing a steely determination.

“I’ll win through sheer willpower if I have to.”

China’s Liu Xiang, who set a world record in the 50m backstroke earlier this week, will look to dash Ikee’s ambitions after winning her heat in 25.14 at the Asian Games 2018.

“The Chinese girl won’t want to lose the freestyle after setting a world record,” said Ikee.

“It will be a tough race. But I plan to really get my teeth into this one and just go for it.”

Competing for the limelight on the final evening, Chinese giant Sun Yang will be the odds-on favourite to add the 1,500m freestyle title to his haul after powering to gold in the 200, 400 and 800m.

China’s fiercely patriotic team captain will be hoping his talismanic presence can inspire his troops to finish top of the swimming medal table after Japan took a 17-16 lead in golds after day five.

Japan swim queen Ikee will surpass countrywoman Yoshimi Nishigawa’s five gold medals at a single Asian Games (1970 and 1974) if she wins.

Korean in cross-hairs

After Thursday’s relay, Ikee also became only the eighth athlete to win at least five gold medals at one Games, and the seventh to bag seven medals of any colour.

Only North Korean shooter So Gin Man, who scooped seven gold medals and eight overall in 1982, has done better — but Ikee has him in her cross-hairs.

Defending champion Dmitriy Balandin qualified fifth for the men’s 50m breaststroke final in what could be his last competitive race.

Frustrated by injury and poor form, the 100m Rio Olympic champion from Kazakhstan clocked 27.53 — well off the pace set by China’s Yan Zibei (27.06).

China’s Wang Jianjiahe topped the time-sheets in the 400m free heats in 4:19.02 as the 16-year-old looks to maintain her stranglehold on the women’s long-distance events after gold medals in the 800 and 1,500m.

Compatriot Xu Jiayu, who completed the men’s backstroke treble on Thursday, attempts to make it a perfect five from five in men’s 4x100m medley relay.

Japan’s Yui Ohashi looks set to complete the women’s individual relay double after the title favourite set the fastest time of the 200m heats (2:13.55) with plenty to spare.

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French Swimmer Ben Lecomte, Aiming To Cross Pacific, Resumes Attempt After Storm

Ben Lecomte organised the swim to raise awareness of plastic contamination and ocean pollution.

Tokyo, Japan: 

A Frenchman attempting to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean said Wednesday he was resuming his bid, after storms forced him to suspend the ambitious undertaking.

“Back in the water today! After avoiding a typhoon we’re finally back at the swim point and continuing on with the swim,” Ben Lecomte tweeted.

Lecomte set off from Choshi in Japan on June 5 and planned to swim across the ocean to San Francisco in six to eight months.

But nearly two months into the epic journey, severe storms forced the 51-year-old to head back to port in Japan.

He and his team waited out several storm systems swirling through the region during the local typhoon season before heading back this week to where he cut the swim short, slightly more than 580 nautical miles east of Japan.

He will be resuming a schedule of swimming for eight hours a day and consuming 8,000 calories daily to keep going.

Part adventurer, part environmentalist, Lecomte organised the swim to raise awareness of plastic contamination and ocean pollution.

His support team is conducting a series of experiments on the trip, including collecting samples of plastic waste.

When he suspended the swim, he said the scale of the pollution his team had already encountered made him all the more determined to complete the journey.

“It’s more important now than ever that we make it to the Great Garbage Patch,” he said, referring to a massive vortex of trash that floats between the US states of Hawaii and California.

“I want to show people why our oceans are so important.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Asiad Swimmer Sajan Prakash Relieved, Family Found in Flood-Hit Kerala


Swimmer Sajan Prakash has been to hell and back at the Asian Games, competing in Jakarta while family members went missing in severe flooding in Kerala. 

The 24-year-old became the first swimmer to reach last weekend’s 200 metres butterfly final despite the knowledge that five relatives had not been found and his family home in Kerala had been destroyed by floodwater.

Prakash finished outside the medals in fifth, but his prayers were answered after an uncle called to inform him his family members had survived the devastating floods that have killed more than 350 people.

“I had trouble sleeping, thinking about my family,” Prakash told AFP.

“I hadn’t heard from them because they were cut off from the (phone) network and not able to contact us,” he added.

“I was very nervous but my uncle called to say they’re all safe and everything is alright back home.”

Prakash’s mother Shantymol, who is based in Tamil Nadu, initially kept news of the disaster from her son so he could concentrate on his performances at the regional Olympics.

But after finding out about the floods from friends, Prakash had to put his anxiety to one side despite losing contact his family members, with no word from Kerala for three days.

“I knew that the rain was getting worse (in Kerala) when I arrived in Jakarta but I didn’t know it was this bad,” Prakash said after Wednesday’s 100m fly heats.

“But that’s what we train for — to swim under pressure. If I think about it, I will screw up here. And if I screw up here, both are screwed. Either way I can’t help, I just have to focus on what I have to do.”

After becoming the first Indian swimmer to reach an Asian Games final in more than 30 years, Prakash clocked a national record of one minutes, 57.75 seconds — a distant 3.22 seconds behind Japanese winner Daiya Seto.

Prakash, who swam for India at the 2016 Rio Olympics, insisted he never thought of quitting the Asian Games.

“I prepared for this for a long time and I didn’t want to screw it up by leaving,” he said. 

“My team-mates kept me entertained and focused — being with them is different from being alone.

“It was my dream to get a medal in the Asian Games from childhood,” added Prakash.

“I’ve worked for it very hard — I did whatever was possible to do. If I would have placed top three it would have been a gift for my family. It would have been great.”

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Asian Games Swimmer Sajan Prakash Misses Medal, “Worried About Family In Kerala,” Says Mother

Sajan Prakash reportedly spent a sleepless night worrying about his relatives, the day before the race.

New Delhi: 

Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash, who reached a milestone at the Asian Games but stopped short of winning a medal on Sunday, performed amid deep anxiety over his relatives in flood-hit Kerala, says his family.

Sajan Prakash is the first Indian swimmer to qualify for the finals of the 200m butterfly at the Asian Games since 1986. He had qualified as the third fastest swimmer but finished fifth in the final race on Sunday.

Sajan Prakash, who represented India in the Rio Olympics as well, lives in Neyveli near Puducherry with his mother.

According to his family, his grandparents, uncle and three others are missing since Thursday. They stay in Idukki, which was badly hit by Kerala’s worst floods in a century.

Sajan Prakash’s mother Shantimol – also a former international athlete – says he was “very upset and distracted” and would have won in different circumstances.


Kerala Floods: Lakhs of people were displaced after their homes were destroyed in floods and landslides.

The swimmer has two more events left, today and on Wednesday.

His mother said she was able to speak to her family for just a minute, and was told that they were being taken to safety. But the phone call got disconnected and there has been no contact since.

Sajan Prakash reportedly heard the news from friends somehow and spent a sleepless night worrying about his relatives, the day before the race.

At Idukki, where his mother’s family stays, dams were opened around two weeks ago, for the first time in 25 years, as water levels rose in the reservoir because of heavy rain.

Around 200 people have died since then and lakhs have been displaced.

(Kerala has to rebuild itself after the worst floods in over a century. Hundreds have died and lakhs are homeless. Here is how you can help.)


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9100 Kilometers In Six Months. 50-Year-Old Swimmer To Become First To Cross Pacific

For Ben Lecomte, raising awareness of these issues is more important than setting any record.

YOKOHAMA, Japan:  When Ben Lecomte stepped onto land for the first time after swimming across the Atlantic Ocean in 1998, he told himself ‘never again’. Yet, 20 years on, Lecomte is attempting an even more daunting challenge as he looks to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean, covering 9,100 kilometres.

On Tuesday, Lecomte and his nine-person support team will set out from Tokyo on an epic expedition expected to last more than six months and see the Frenchman arrive in San Francisco.


 “I knew it was something that was part of me and my identity,” Lecomte told Reuters as his team undertook the final preparations to the support yacht in Yokohama’s Bayside Marina on Friday.

“The way I look at it is as a way to express myself. It didn’t happen very soon after the Atlantic (swim) because I got married, I had children, so I put that aside. But I knew I was going to come back to that project eventually.”

The 50-year-old’s plan is to swim for eight hours a day, as well as consume over 8,000 calories, as he undertakes an extraordinary journey that is part-adventure and part-scientific experiment. Much of Lecomte’s backing comes from scientific publisher, who will be providing daily updates on his progress as well as promoting research on the data collected by the support team.

More than 27 different scientific organizations, some medical and some oceanographic, will be benefiting from the data gathered during the expedition. Much of the research will focus on plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean, specifically the build-up of ‘plastic smog’ containing billions of pieces of microplastic.

There is increasing concern among scientists about the effect of pervasive plastic pollution on marine ecosystems.

swimmer ben locomte twitter 650

The crew make a stop at Kewalo Harbor, Honolulu before they reached Japan 

In particular, they are worried about microplastic particles, bits measuring no more than two-tenths of an inch (5 mm), which come from large plastic trash that has fragmented into smaller pieces or microbeads in products like facial soap, body wash and toothpaste.

For Lecomte, raising awareness of these issues is more important than setting any record.

“I remember my father and he was the one who taught me how to swim in the Atlantic. I remember times when we would go on the beach and walk and never see any plastic. Now, everywhere I go, on the beach I see plastic everywhere,” said Lecomte.

“If we are all aware of it then after it is much easier to take action and to change our behaviour because the solution is in our hands. We know what we have to do.”


The Frenchman, whose Atlantic crossing was never ratified by Guinness World Records because it cannot be fully verified that he resumed his swims in the exact point he stopped them the day before, believes the mental battle will be tougher than the physical endurance.

“It is mind over matter,” said Lecomte, who is also an architectural consultant based in Austin, Texas when not in the water.

“To do the physical aspect of it, sure it is difficult and all that but what is much more difficult is to be in that very hostile environment, to do that days in and days out, to push you and to push your limits, then the mind has to be super strong.” To overcome this, Lecomte will make a strict plan for what he will think about for eight hours in the water each day.

swimmer ben locomte twitter 650

“The worst thing that can happen is not knowing what you are going to do with your mind and going to the wrong place,” he said.

As well as mental challenges, Lecomte will have to endure turbulent and unpredictable weather, potentially freezing cold water, as well as sharks and jellyfish. However, right now, Lecomte just wants to get started.

“I am a little bit like a tiger in a cage, ready to go.”

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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