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Kutral Ramesh – Arjuna Awardee

29 June 2009 9 Comments

Hello Everyone,

We have a very special guest to kick start the Coffee With Sundar – Season 2.It is my pleasure to welcome Kutral Ramesh.Kutral, born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, went on to become a marathon swimmer. He swam across English Channel in 1994 when he was just 13 years old. That very same calendar year, he swam across 6 channels to break Mihir Sen’s record of swimming across 5 channels in a calendar year. Kutral’s name was included in Guinness Book of World records for this feat. Kutral went on to win Arjuna Award in 1996.

Coffee With Kutral Ramesh


Me: Hello Kutral, Welcome to the first show on Coffee with Sundar – Season 2

KR: Hello Sundar! Glad to be on the show.

Me: Can you please introduce yourself to the readers of CWS – 2? Also talk a bit about your family & early childhood days?

KR: Sure! I was born in Erode. My parents moved to Chennai when I was just 1 month old. I was brought up in Chennai, where I studied from LKG to 12th in DAV school. My dad was an advocate at Madras High Court. My mom is a home maker. I also have an elder brother. This is my family.

Me: Kutral, so can you talk about how you were introduced to swimming? How did it all start?

KR: My dad had a lot of interest in sports. During his days in the 1960s he wanted to take up sports, but he couldn’t make it. So he wanted his kids to take up sports. So, when I was in my 2nd standard summer vacation, I was introduced to swimming classes. In fact, the next year I was supposed to learn tennis. So, the objective was to just go & learn.Before that itself, I was always interested in water. I always enjoyed jumping into the well at Erode with a tube tried around me. So I wasn’t new to water as such.

So, when I started with swimming lessons – I learnt the 4 strokes of swimming in just 7 days. My coach Mr. Chandra spoke to my father and told that I am doing really well. He suggested to my father that I be given formal training in swimming. After hearing this, my father sent me for a proper formal training in swimming. That’s how it all got started.

Me: Wow! So they caught you young.. 🙂 What were the competitions you took part in? How did it all start?

KR: A couple months after I joined formal training, I took part in my first contest. It was a district level swimming contest. It is called the “Ribbon Meet”. The reason it is called a ribbon meet is because the top 6 out of the 8 district level finalists get a ribbon. In that contest I got sixth position and I also got a ribbon. And I was very excited about the whole thing.

After that I took part in many district & state-level contests where I was runner up. I also took part in national level short circuit events, but I didn’t manage to win anything there.In 1990 – 91 there was a 5 km swimming competition in the sea. I took part in that just for fun. All these days, I was only taking part in swimming pools. So, I thought this sea competition could be a lot of fun. I was probably 9 or 10 years old then. I was the youngest taking part in the competition. I think I came 3rd or 4th in that.This I think was one of the important turning points of my swimming career. In fact I felt much better swimming in these long distance races. This was the event which introduced me to marathon swimming in the sea! In the next couple of years, I swam in many parts of India – Gujarat, West Bengal, etc and I did really well at my age group.

The very fact of FINISHING WITHOUT QUITTING was thrilling me. This started my career in adventure marathon swimming. I swam from islands to main lands, swam across countries etc..Then came the biggest moment – Crossing the English Channel!!!To be continued.. Stay tuned..




  • Saurabh said:

    Nice interview. But please do not use Cambria font. Its an eyesore!

  • Sundar Rajan G S (author) said:


    The font has been changed. Thanks for the feedback

  • Subhodeep said:

    coffee with better taste and smell..!

  • Kutral Ramesh - Guinness Record Holder » Coffee With Sundar said:

    […] The part one of the interview can be found here – Kutral Ramesh – Arjuna Awardee. […]

  • Guinness Record Holder - Kutral Ramesh » Coffee With Sundar said:

    […] Readers,The part one of the interview can be found here – Kutral Ramesh – Arjuna Awardee.Kutral, born and brought up in Tamil Nadu, went on to become a marathon swimmer. He swam across […]

  • raj said:

    this blog is very nice and i am very glad to see this feature.

  • vidhya said:

    this guy was my school senior………earned more fame at a young age.