Swimming has gained much popularity in India both as a sporting event as well as a general activity. Swimming over the ages has appealed to people of all age groups. Especially competitive swimming has become a part of the Olympic events.
The Swimming Federation of India (SFI) is the apex organization that is dedicated to the sport of swimming in India .
Post independence era, Indian swimmers have been taking part in international swimming competitions and have also won laurels for India. The most famous of these swimmers are Khazan Singh, Mihir Sen and Bula Chowdhury. Khazan Singh won the silver medal in the Seoul Asian Games in the year 1986.
Bula Chowdhury and Mihir Sen were excellent swimmers who swam for long distances and conquered the turbulent seas in the remote corners of the globe.
Mihir Sen was the first Asian as well as the first Indian to swim across the English Channel in 14 hours and 45 minutes on 27th September, 1958. Mihir Sen also became the first man to swim across the Indian Ocean, the Palk Strait, the Strait of Bosphorus, the Strait of Gibraltar, the Strait of Dardanelles. His name features in the Guiness Book of the World.
Bula Chowdhury was the first woman swimmer in the world to swim across seven seas and hence she is known as the Queen of Seven Seas. She had crossed the Palk Strait that extends from Talaimannar Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi in Tamil Nadu within fourteen hours. Bula Chowdhary also swam across the Strait of Gibraltar in 3 hours and 35 minutes and made a world record. Apart from these Bula Chowdhury also swam across the English Channel in 1989 and 1999 and thus was the first woman in Asia to swim the English Channel twice.