30-year-old Bandra swimmer Mohammad Shams Aalam Shaikh is aiming for the upcoming 2018 Asian Games.
Shaikh was a black belt holder and a qualified coach with over 40 gold medals to his credit. His world changed after he was diagnosed with a tumour in his spine. Numerous surgeries later, his lower body was paralysed.
It was swimming the butterfly stroke that helped Aalam Shaikh to overcome the disability from 100% to 72%.
During the break between his MBA final exam, Shaikh achieved his feat by swimming in Goa.
Inspite of his lower body being paralysed, Shaikh challenged himself to beat his own record in the longest open sea swimming at Candolim beach in Goa. He swam 8 km in the seas along the Sinquerim-Baga-Candolim belt in 4 hours and 4 minutes which was a test of his endurance
Shaikh said, “I expected to complete the distance in two or two-and-half hours, but I had to swim against a very strong tide for a larger part of the course." He also added to say "I want to prove that it is possible for persons with disabilities and spinal cord injuries to push themselves beyond their limits."
Shaikh aims to get his name in the Limca Book of World Records, Asian Book of Records and the Guinness World Records.
Shaikh is hoping for the right coach to train him for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.