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Differently- abled Keralite to swim 10km to raise funds

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Alappuzha (Kerala):Disabled athlete E.D. Baburaj is determined to take part in the upcoming International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) World Games to be held in Sochi, Russia. swim-clip-art-1206571770567923544johnny_automatic_NPS_map_pictographs_part_90.svg.med

To reach there the 50-year-old needs Rs.3 lakh for which he will swim the Vembanad lake here on August 18 at its widest point, which is 10 km long.

Baburaj, who ekes out a living by selling insurance policies, said a fall, when he was 11, left his left hand totally ineffective.

“Swimming has been my passion right from my childhood and despite my disability I have represented the university and state and taken part in numerous swimming events and have won prizes,” said Baburaj, who hails from Kainnakery near here, through which the Vembanad lake flows.

It was his burning desire to take part in an international swimming competition and now it has come calling on him after his entry was accepted at the IWAS Games, to be held from September 26 to October 3. He will take part in four events — 50, 100 and 200 metres freestyle and 50m butterfly.

“On the 18th of this month, I will be crossing the Vembanad lake located on the Kumarakom-Muhama link that has a width of 10 km. This is basically done to raise as much money for my trip to Russia. I need Rs.3 lakh for travel, lodging and boarding. I am also going to seek the state government’s assistance for my trip,” said Baburaj, who as part of his training, swims 10 km a day.

He said unlike other swimmers, he has to take double the effort as he can swim using only one hand.

“Once I return from Russia, I have decided to help train all those who wish to learn swimming,” added Baburaj.

(IANS)

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World Record: Meet the 96 year-old Shigemi Hirata, World’s Oldest College Graduate of Japan

Shigemi Hirata received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design from Kyoto University at the age of 96 years and 200 days

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Shigemi Hirata Image Credit: japantimes.co.jp
  • Hirata was born in Hiroshima on 1 September, 1919 and has four great-grandchildren
  • He served in the navy during the Second World War and worked as a security guard in a Takamatsu hospital after the war until he got retired in 1980s
  • 100-year-old Japanese woman, Mieko Nagaoka, became the world’s first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim, 20 years after she took up the sport

JAPAN: A 96-year-old man in western Japan has entered the Guinness Book of World Records for breaking all the records and becoming the oldest college graduate according to the World Record Academy. Shigemi Hirata, a resident of Takamatsu, received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Design from Kyoto University at the age of 96 years and 200 days. It took him 11 years to earn the degree of his ceramic arts course.

“My longevity is something like destiny. I am blessed with people (I have met).”

Hirata was born in Hiroshima on 1 September, 1919 and has four great-grandchildren. He served in the navy during the Second World War and worked as a security guard in a Takamatsu hospital after the war until he got retired in 1980s. In 2005, when he was 85, Hirata enrolled in the university’s correspondence study program to enhance his skills in pottery, which he took up when he became a pensioner. He occasionally attended classes at the university’s campus in Kyoto though most of his studies were done at home. He is something of a celebrity on campus.

Shigemi Hirata Image Source: Indiatimes
Shigemi Hirata Image Source: Indiatimes

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Hirata, after becoming the oldest man to earn a graduate degree is not done with setting the records. “My next goal is to live until 100,” he said, before cracking a joke. “If I’m still in good shape at the time, I will consider going to graduate school,” said Hirata.

Japan’s lively pensioners regularly set eye-popping records as the silver-haired generation enjoy longer and healthier lives.

100-year-old Japanese woman, Mieko Nagaoka, became the world’s first centenarian to complete a 1,500-metre freestyle swim, 20 years after she took up the sport.

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Hidekichi Miyazaki, dubbed “Golden Bolt” after Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt, set a record by finishing a 100-meter sprint in just 42.22 seconds at the Kyoto Masters Athletics Autumn Competition at the age of 105.

There were nearly 59,000 centenarians in Japan in 2015, according to government figures — which means 46 out of every 100,000 people is 100 or over.

According to NHK World report of 2015, the number of Japanese aged 65 or older has risen to a new record of about 33.8 million people, or 26.7 per cent of the population.

– by Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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