Home South Africa Surgeon, 80, swims into record books with Robben Island crossing

Surgeon, 80, swims into record books with Robben Island crossing

Surgeon, 80, swims into record books with Robben Island crossing
Pacesetter Martin Goodman, left, celebrates with Cape City heart surgeon Otto Thaning and skipper Roger Finch after the 80-yr-damaged-down’s Robben Island crossing.

Image: Lewis Pugh

Cape City heart surgeon Otto Thaning has, at 80, turn into the oldest particular person to swim the 7.5km from Robben Island to the mainland.

Thaning braved 16ºC water for a swift 2hr 52min crossing, his 13th. He used to be paced by Robben Island veteran Martin Goodman, skippered by Roger Finch — the first South African to defend the “triple crown” of inaugurate water swimming — and supported by  environmental activist and frosty water swimmer Lewis Pugh.

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Pugh and Thaning were the first americans recorded to swim across Lake Malawi in 1992, and the surgeon is additionally the oldest man to swim the 34km English Channel, which he did in 2014 former 73.

Pugh acknowledged Thaning used to be an extremely ambiance pleasant swimmer. “What makes his crossing even more unimaginable is that he operates correct via the week,” he acknowledged.

“Generally he involves coaching and says, ‘Long day, Lewis. I had to face on my feet running for six hours.’”

Pugh acknowledged Thaning represented a brand unusual frontier in frosty water swimming. “I joked with him after the swim that I used to be going to beat his record at some point soon, and Otto turns to me and says, ‘OK Lewis, concept you in 2049.’ That in fact puts it into point of view.”

Cape Long Distance Swimming Association chairperson Kerry Kopke acknowledged Thaning used to be an inspiration to inaugurate water swimmers in each and each web online page.

“Many folks think they will’t swim a Robben Island crossing, but Otto has shown us it’s doable, even on the age of 80. He’s an extremely carried out swimmer, but this swim additionally reach we are in a position to all rethink our barriers,” she acknowledged.

Thaning acknowledged when he swam the English Channel he wished to reveal that age used to be no longer basically a barrier to physical endeavour.

“I acknowledged that long ago and I mute firmly reflect it. I trained loads with the leisurely, astronomical Theodore Yach, who did 108 Robben Island crossings, and his attitude used to be that it be principal to construct up into the frosty and let it lubricate your joints. But you additionally have to abilities it afterwards.”

Thaning acknowledged there could be no longer any such thing as an effortless Robben Island swim and he planned many more crossings.

Worldwide marathon swimmer and coach Steve Munatones acknowledged Thaning had inspired many swimmers.

“Dr Thaning is the epitome of his profound steering and a broadly revered role model for the entire swimming community.”


Surgeon, 80, swims into record books with Robben Island crossing