Otto Thaning

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Dr. Otto Thaning, open water swimmer and surgeon
Marathon swimmer and heart surgeon
Dr. Otto Thaning is a heart surgeon at Blain Communications in Cape Town, South Africa and an accomplished marathon swimmer who is a member of the Half Century Club.

Marathon Swimming Career

Dr. Thaning has completed the English Channel (England to France) in 10 hours 29 minutes in 15-16°C at the age of 53 years old on 30 August 1994. He received the O'Clee Jubilee Cup for his crossing from the Channel Swimming Association.

He also completed the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain to Morocco in 4 hours 0 minutes in 19°C at the age of 63 years old on 24 September 2004 to be ranked #31 on the global Oceans Seven.

He has also swum from Robben Island to Blouberg numerous times. His 2007 swim took him 2 hours 37 minutes at the age of 66 years old on 22 December 2007. He became the oldest person at the age of 72 to complete a Robben Island crossing in South Africa on 17 March 2012.

He also set a world record in Lake Malawi, Makinjira (Mozambique) when he crossed the lake in 10 hours 5 minutes in 28°C when he was 51 years old on 5 January 1992.

Swimming and Heart Surgery

"My swimming interest has always been a passion shared with my involvement in heart surgery. I was fortunate to have been trained by Chris Barnard and work in a hospital in Cape Town that carries his name - Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital."

[Note: Dr. Christiaan Neethling Barnard (November 8, 1922 – September 2, 2001) was a South African cardiac surgeon who performed the world's first successful human-to-human heart transplant.

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