Marburg (ots) – No one can imitate her: On August 17 (UTC-10), Natalie Paul became the first German woman to swim the 47 km distance between the Hawaiian islands of Molokai and Oahu. An incredible feat, as the canal is the world’s toughest and, above all, the longest stretch of open water. The extraordinary athlete battled through the water for 15:05 hours, at times in complete darkness with more than 50,000 arm strokes. But the length of the course isn’t the only thing that makes the swim such a challenge. Hawaii is also known for its dangerous marine life. In addition to sharks, the Portuguese galley lives there, a particularly poisonous jellyfish. Contact with the tentacles, which can be up to 50 meters long, is extremely painful and can cause skin injuries, severe swelling, and difficulty breathing. A real nightmare in the middle of the sea that unfortunately came true for Natalie Polk: “I was almost there, and my arms and legs burned from the effort anyway. But suddenly an incredible stabbing pain made me suffocate. There is air,” reports the 27-year-old swimmer. As the tentacles leave bright red everywhere, she encourages herself: “I didn’t last all night to give up just before the finish line.” And so she keeps swimming. When she finally climbs out of the water, exhausted and proud, on Oahu’s Sandy Beach, everyone realizes the magnitude of the encounter. The team immediately responds and organizes medical assistance, but Natalie Paul still has a smile on her face – because no one can take this victory away from her.
For the extreme swimmer, this crossing is the fifth of seven stages of the Ocean’s Seven, the seven most important straits in the world. Nathalie Paul wants to win this challenge as the first German woman to wear only a bathing suit, bathing cap and swimming goggles. Her long-time coach, Joshua Newlow, who supports her from the dinghy during each swim, explains: “Everything has to be right to achieve such a performance: starting with intensive preparation, through logistical planning and on-site support, to taking care when swimming from the boat.” An extreme swimmer spends hours a day training in the water and in the weight room. Last year alone she swam more than 1000 km. But if you want to survive in the oceans, you don’t just have to be physically fit. That’s why Natalie Paul has been working on her mental strength for years to push herself beyond the limits of performance in extreme conditions on the water. A skill that especially helped her swim through pain. Her big goal, completing the Ocean’s Seven, is now within reach: she still has to cross the Cook Strait between New Zealand’s North and South Islands and the North Channel between Ireland and Scotland.
More at: www.nathaliepohl.de
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Original content from: NP-Invest GmbH, broadcast by news aktuell
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