V.S. Kumar Anandan was an endurance athlete from Valvettithurai in Sri Lanka. He had a penchant for endurance sports as he also non-stop twist danced for 128 hours, non-stop cycled for 187 hours covering a distance of 1,487 miles, balanced on one foot for 187 hours, did 165 sit-ups in two minutes; and treaded water for 80 hours non-stop at the Anna swimming pool in Chennai. He had a successful educational career, he was a graduate of University of London. He also obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and was an Attorney at Law by profession.
Open Water Swimming Career Highlights
- He swam a 59 km two-way crossing of the Palk Strait from Talaimannar, Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi, India on the Tamil Nadu coast in India, and back to Talaimannar, Sri Lanka in an unprecedented swim in 1994 in 51 hours. A statue of him may be erected in India in his honor.
- He swam a 59 km crossing of the Palk Strait from Valvettithurai, Sri Lanka to Point Calimere in March 1963 that took 42 hours.
- He died while attempting to swim the English Channel on 6 August 1984. His death prompted British authorities to make it mandatory for all swimmers attempting to swim across the English Channel to produce a fitness certificate.
- His uncle, Murugapillai Navratnaswami, was the first person to swim the Palk Strait in 1954 where he took 28 hours to swim from Valvettithurai to Point Calimere.