A 73-year-old Japanese man on Wednesday became the oldest person in the world to swim across the Tsugaru Strait, north of Japan, where he fought for ten hours some dangerous currents.
The strait coveted by hunters of records is considered one of the toughest in the world due to its strong unpredictable currents. The strait between the larger islands of Honshu and Hokkaido is only 19.5 km wide at its narrowest point, but Toshio Tominaga swam some 38 km towards the north while struggling against the currents pushing him east, said a member of his support team, Masayuki Moriya.
The septuagenarian began his voyage on Wednesday at 5:28 and 9 hours and 58 minutes later he arrived on the other side, announced his team on Facebook. “He is the oldest person in the world to achieve the feat,” says tha Facebook post. Mr. Tominaga “is exhausted and must rest,” a spokesman for the swimmer to journalists a few minutes after arrival. The organizers expected him to swim for at least 12 hours of 45 km, but the currents were weaker than expected over most of the route, said Mr. Moriya. “Until the last five kilometers all seemed easy for him but the end was very difficult with powerful currents,” he added.
Swimmers generally take the challenge in order to achieve the all ” Seven Oceans” record, seven strait crossings including those of the Strait of Gibraltar and the British Channel says the World Open Water Swimming Association , WOWSA. The first person to ever to cross the Tsugaru Strait where can be found sharks, jellyfish and squid, is the American athlete David Yudovin in 1990.
Before Toshio Tominaga, the oldest person to have achieved this feat was an American, Pat Gallant-Charette, who had made the crossing in 2012 at age 61, says the founder of WOWSA Steven Munatones. Last month, Honoka Hasegawa, 18, became the youngest and fastest woman person to cross the strait in 8 hours and 31 minutes, according to the website of the Tsugaru Channel swimming Association (TCSA).