Noted Indian swimmer Bula Chowdhury and her husband and
coach, Sanjib Chakraborty
NEWS FLASH - Sports:
San Pedro, California, USA, August 28th, 2002
Bula Chowdhury Charkaborty, the noted Indian swimming champion, succeeded her fifth leg of
her quest to swim the seven seas of the world today. Charkaborty started her Catalina
Channel swim from Catalina Island, 34 kilometers from the coastline of California, USA, at
7:00AM PST this morning. She was on pace to break the all-time Catalina Channel swim
record when she encountered high waves and strong currents. Nevertheless, she was able to
complete her swim in a very good time of 10 hours 23 minutes and 14 seconds. A superb
finish since two US naval relay teams of 5 members each finished the same swim at more
than 14 hours and 30 minutes yesterday.
Bula Charkaborty is the first Asian woman to cross the Catalina Channel.
Charkaborty has also crossed the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Tyrrhenian Sea in
Italy, and the Toroneus Gulf crossing in Greece. Waiting to receive Charkaborty at the San
Pedro shores was her sponsor, Bikram Choudhury, yoga master; Indian scientist Manilal
Bhowmik; and many members of the television and print media.
Bula is coached by her husband, Sanjib Chakraborty, former Indian record holder of the
100-meter Free Style sprint
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Los Angeles, California, August 22nd, 2002 – Bula Chowdhury
Chakraborty, perhaps the greatest swimmer in India history, male or female, will attempt
to swim across the famous Catalina Channel, a distance of 34 kilometers from Catalina
Island to the shores of Manhattan Beach, Los Angeles. Her swim of this part of the Pacific
Ocean will take place on Wednesday, August 28th, 2002.
Bula Chowdhury, the only Asian swimmer ever to have accomplished the feat of swimming
across the frigid English Channel two times, is the undisputed champion of national
swimming competitions in India. From the age of 9 until she retired from sprint
events at 25 years old, she won over 140 gold medals in various Indian national and
international events. Many of her winning times are still records in India.
Born in Hooghly, West Bengal, in 1970, Bula was encouraged by her parents to take
up swimming from Pashupati Kundu, one of the most respected swimming coaches in India. Her
determination to be the best paid off even at an early age. In her first national
competition at just 9 years old, she dominated her age group by winning six gold medals in
6 events. From there, the records and gold medals kept on adding up until her retirement
from sprint event competitions.
In 1990, she was awarded the title of ‘Arjuna’, the highest award in sports,
by the president of India.
Sanjib Chakraborty, her current coach,
trainer, husband, and father of their nine-year old son, was himself a noted swimmer. He
was the captain of the Indian Olympic Swimming Team, and for seven years, the national
champion of the 100-meter Free-Style sprint event. And for 15 years, he was the pillar of
the Indian National Swimming Team. He is the founder and coach of the Kolaghat Swimming
Center in West Bengal.
In 1996, after winning the Murshidabad (Behrampur) Long Distance Swim of 81 kilometers
(the longest swim event in the world), Bula and her husband decided to chase the quest of
swimming the seven seas of the world.
Thus far, she has completed the English Channel (second time) in 1999; set the world
record in crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in the year 2000; swam the International Sri
Chinmoy Marathon in Zurich, Switzerland on July 29th, 2001; set another world
record (women) for crossing the Tyrrhenian Sea from Zannone to San Felice Circeo, Italy,
on August 10th, 2001; and just a month ago she won the 32nd
International Toroneus Gulf Crossing in Greece.
After completing the Catalina Channel swim, Bula will attempt to swim the channel
between Sri Lanka and India on the sixth leg of her worldwide quest. Her seventh will be
the Australian Ocean.
Her faithful support from her husband is uncommon, especially for a woman from India.
Firm believers of women’s equality, Sanjib and Bula practice yoga daily. They believe
that yoga has helped them to enhance their determination and focus on their dream. As part
of her training, Sanjib uses yoga postures to help Bula to strengthen her body movements.
Bikram Choudhury, founder and president of the Yoga College of India in Los Angeles,
California, and the World Yoga Foundation are proud to sponsor Bula Chowdhury
Chakraborty’s Catalina Channel Swim.
For more information on this special event,
please contact Juan Busutil at (310) 854-5800.