Kalmikovs becomes first athlete from Latvia to swim across English Channel

  • 2019-09-11
  • LETA/TBT Staff

DOVER (England) - Latvia's swimmer Valerijs Kalmikovs, who competed at two Olympic Games, completed a successful swim across the Strait of Dover early Monday morning, becoming the first athlete from Latvia to accomplish the feat.

According to information posted on Kalmikovs' account on Facebook, the air temperature ranged from 15 to 19 degrees Celsius during the swim, while water temperature was 19 degrees Celsius.

The swimmer completed the distance in 11 hours 13 minutes.

"I had a phenomenal team. You all did a great job," Kalmikovs thanked his team. "The swim was great, I really enjoyed it," he added.

"The last 40 meters were freezing, but overall it was a very good swim," said the swimmer.

Kalmikovs, 46, participated in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics. In Atlanta, he finished 13th in the 200-meter breaststroke, while in Sydney he was 17th, also in the 200-meter breaststroke.

During his career, Kalmikov was a top-10 swimmer at several European and world championships.

From 1988 to 1996 he won 96 Latvian champion titles. Kalmikov has broken different national swimming records 38 times.

After his career, Kalmikov became a professional coach.