“Team Qatar Channel Swim” successfully made it across the English Channel on Saturday to enter history books as the first-ever athletes from Qatar to take on this gruesome challenge, known as the Everest of open water swimming.
The team dedicated their achievement to The Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani and the people of Qatar.
The team, made up of seven amateur athletes, kicked off their attempt from Folkestone, near Dover, on the English coast and covered a distance of around 48 kms in 16 hours and 34 minutes on a relay basis, to reach the French coast near Wissant, a seaside commune between Calais and Boulogne.
Since 1875, only around 1500 solo swimmers and 765 relay teams have successfully made it across the busiest waterway in the world, known for its cold waters, strong tides and a list of other hazards that include cold winds, waves, oil slicks and jellyfish.
What made the Qatari achievement more special, is the fact that none of the team members, aged between 34-52, are professional athletes. They are a group of endurance sports enthusiasts who work full-time in fields like medicine, engineering and marketing, but they were able to take time from career and family obligations to go through one of the most difficult physical challenges on earth.
Team members: Dr. Faleh Mohamed Hussain Ali (Surgeon & Healthcare Official), Dr. Mohammed Jaham al Kuwari (Surgeon & Head of Qatar Cycling & Triathlon Federation), Dr. Jamal Rashid al Khanji (Entrepreneur & former-Surgeon), Dr. Khalid Mohammed al Jalham (Surgeon & Healthcare Official), Dr. Nasser Saqr al Mohannadi (Petroleum Engineer & Climate Change Expert), Fahad Mohammed al Buenain (Marketing & Corporate Communication Expert) and Talal Abdulaziz al Emadi (Legal Expert).