V.S. Kumar Anandan was an endurance athlete from Valvettithurai in Sri Lanka. He completed a two-way crossing of the Palk Strait from Thalaimannar in Sri Lanka to Dhanushkodi on the Tamil Nadu coast. A statue of him may be erected in India in his honor.
His first marathon swim from Valvettithurai to Point Calimere was in March 1963 that took him 42 hours it. In 1974, his two-way swim between Valvettithurai and Point Calimere took in 51 hours. He had a penchant for endurance sports as he also non-stop twist danced for 128 hours, non-stop cycled for 187 hours covering a distance of 1,487 miles, balanced on one foot for 187 hours, did 165 sit-ups in two minutes; and treaded water for 80 hours non-stop at the Anna swimming pool in Chennai.
He died while attempting to swim the English Channel on 6 August 1984. His death prompted British authorities to make it mandatory for all swimmers attempting the Channel challenge to produce a fitness certificate.
He had a successful educational career, he was a graduate of University of London. He also obtained the Bachelor of Laws degree in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) and was an Attorney at Law by profession.
Palk Strait Crossings
1. Murugapillai Navratnaswami (or spelled Murugupillai Navaratnasamy) was the first person to swim the Palk Strait in 1954 where he took 26 hours 50 minutes to swim 32 miles from Valevettithurai (VVT) to Point Calimere on his second attempt.
4. Tanarath Narayan Shenoy crossed the Palk Strait.
6. Bula Chowdhury Chakraborty, an accomplished marathon swimmer who crossed the English Channel twice, the Catalina Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and the Cook Strait, crossed the Palk Strait in 2004 in nearly 14 hours.
7. Rajiv Trivedi is an Indian open water swimmer who crossed in 2011 between India and Sri Lanka in 12 hours 31 minutes.
8. Balasaheb Ramchandra Ghadge is an Indian open water swimmer who crossed in 2011 between India and Sri Lanka in 12 hours 31 minutes.
9. S.P. Murleedharan completed the Palk Strait between Talaimannar in Sri Lanka to Arichamunai at Danushkodi in India in 13 hours 53 minutes in 2012. "As an Indian I feel proud to cross Palk Strait from Sri Lanka to India. The conditions were extremely tough for swimming. The sea, pleasant in the initial stage, turned very rough. It forced me to swim against the strong wind and choppy sea."