Swimmer Breaks Manhattan Record

Australian circumnavigates island in 5:44


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Australian swimmer Oliver Wilkinson on Wednesday broke the record for fastest swim around Manhattan island during the Manhattan Match Race and Record Attempt. The 36-year-old completed the 28.5-mile loop in five hours, 44 minutes, and two seconds, breaking the previous record of 5:45:25 set by Australia’s Shelley Taylor-Smith in 1995. Rondi Davies, 41, also broke Taylor-Smith’s time, setting a new women’s and American record with a 5:44:47. Swimmers have been circumnavigating the island—albeit in small numbers—since the early 20th century. Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, who has recently made headlines for attempting to swim from Cuba to Florida, became the first person to complete the circuit in fewer than eight hours in 1974. The Manhattan Match Race and Record Attempt is an invitation-only event, although NYC Swim hosts a variety of open-water swimming races, including June’s Manhatten Island Marathon Swim, in the New York area. This year’s race began and ended at the 103rd Street Footbridge on the Harlem River and circled Manhattan in a counterclockwise direction.

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