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73-year-old from Japan becomes world's oldest man to swim across Tsugaru Strait

Toshio Tominaga's swam for about 10 hours across the channel in northern Japan. The strait is considered one of the world's most difficult because of strong and unpredictable currents. Photograph: (AFP)

WION Tokyo, Japan Sep 07, 2016, 10.59 AM (IST)
A 73-year-old Japanese man became the world’s oldest man to swim across Japan’s Tsugaru Strait today braving unpredictable currents and stinging jellyfish in his quest. 

Toshio Tominaga's swam for about 10 hours across the channel in northern Japan, AFP reported today. The strait is considered one of the world's most difficult because of strong and unpredictable currents.

The strait is only 19.5 kilometres (12 miles) wide at its narrowest point, but Tominaga ended up swimming 38 kilometres, ploughing northward as he battled currents moving eastward, support team member Masayuki Moriya said.

Tominaga "is so exhausted that he needs to rest", Moriya told AFP minutes after the achievement.

Organisers had expected he would have to swim for about 12 hours, covering 45 kilometres, but currents were weaker than forecast for much of the journey, Moriya said.

"Until the last five kilometres it looked easy for him but the final leg was very hard with strong currents," he added.

Tominaga began his swim at 5:28 am on Wednesday (2028 GMT Tuesday). Nine hours and 58 minutes later, he arrived on the other side of the strait, supporters announced on Facebook.

"He became the world's oldest" person to accomplish the feat, the post said. 

Last month, 18-year-old Japanese swimmer Honoka Hasegawa became the youngest person and the fastest woman to cross the strait.

(WION)
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