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Ultraman completes epic swim around Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Swedish Ultraman World Champion Jonas Colting became the first-ever man to swim around Phuket as he stepped onto Mai Khao Beach this morning.

“We are proud that someone has made history by becoming the first man to swim around the beautiful island of Phuket. This is a great activity to showcase Phuket as a sports and tourism hub of Asia. Big congratulations to Jonas, his team and to the organizers,” Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada said.

Mr Colting was joined by his training partners Thobias Peterson and Daniel Karlsson Engdahl throughout the eight legs of the more than 140-kilometer swim.

Cheers and applause greeted the weary, but fulfilled, swimmers as they rose from the water and broke the finish tape, where they had embarked eight days ago, swimming about 17 kilometers each day.

Aside from the mammoth total distance, the swimmers also prevailed against strong winds, currents, jellyfish and the tropical heat.

“I was aware of the big challenges of being in the heat and the sun. We took lots of proactive measures like getting in the water early in the morning, using lots of sunscreen, and [drinking] some young coconut milk every day after finishing,” Mr Colting said.

Characteristic of ultra-distance athletes, he and his crew adapted to the workload and felt stronger every day along the way.

“The winds, tides and waves have been harder than expected, especially since they haven’t been in our favor for the most part. So it’s been slow going with longer swims than I had planned,” he said.

Organized in conjunction with Thanyapura Phuket and Apollo Sports Sweden from Scandinavia, the group also had the advantage of support and service from Thanyapura, their home base while on the island.

“It’s been great to feel the support of everyone involved in this project and the great organization behind! As hard as it is to swim every day, supporting and organizing is probably just as hard and I’ve been very impressed by the dedication of those in the support team. The island of Phuket is truly beautiful and it’s a pleasure to experience it from the water,” said Mr Colting.

The organizers plan to make Swim Around Phuket an annual event, attracting marathon swimmers from all over the world to face the challenge.

“At Thanyapura, we had a dream to organize a swim around the island of Phuket. Thanks to Jonas who dared to dream with us and made it into a reality,” said Thanyapura President Philipp Graf von Hardenberg as he greeted the swimmers this morning.

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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