Arati Saha

From Openwaterpedia
Arati Saha was the first Indian sportswoman to be awarded the Padma Shri honor
Arati Saha was honored by a Google Doodle for her English Channel crossing in 1959
Arati Saha stamp in India

Arati Saha (later Arati Gupta, born 24 September 1940 Kolkata, India, died 23 August 1994) was an Indian competitive swimmer and open water swimmer.

Swimming Highlights

  • At the 1951 West Bengal state meet, she swam 1:37.6 seconds in 100m breaststroke to set a national record.
  • She completed in the 200m breaststroke at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games at the age of 12, swimming 3:40.8 seconds. After returning from the Olympics, she lost in 100m freestyle to her sister Bharati Saha. After the loss, she concentrated only on breaststroke.
  • On 13 April 1959, she swam 8 hours in the pond in Deshbandhu Park in training for her upcoming English Channel attempt.
  • On 27 August 1959, she competed with 53 men and 5 women representing 23 countries in the 1959 Billy Butlin Cross Channel International Swim that started at 1 am from Cape Gris Nez, but she aborted the crossing within 5 miles of reaching Sandgate, England.
  • On 29 September 1959, Saha became the first Asian woman to swim the 33.5 km English Channel finishing in 16 hours 20 minutes at the age of 19.
  • In 1960, she became the first Indian sportswoman to be awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian honor in India.
  • In 1999, her English Channel crossing was commemorated with a stamp in India.

External links