Para-athlete From Puri Attempts World Record, Covers 213 km On Wheelchair
Kamalakanta Nayak, a 28-year-old para-athlete from Puri, claims to have broken the world record in covering the maximum distance in a manual wheelchair after he travelled 213 km in a span of 24 hours.
Nayak’s attempt began at 4.30 pm on Saturday as he started clocking laps between Rajmahal Square and Master Canteen Square in Bhubaneswar. The para-athlete went on to complete 575 laps by 4.30 pm on Sunday, covering 213 km as video cameras, GPS trackers, and mobile phones recorded his feat.
In these 24 hours, Nayak only took a break of 2 hours for hydrating, attending physiotherapy sessions, and taking food.
“The previous record was held by Portugal’s Mario Trinidad, who covered 182.4 km in a manual wheelchair in a span of 24 hours. Nayak broke Trinidad’s record in 20 hours. We have sent all the evidence, including video records of the last 24 hours, GPS data and reports of independent witnesses, to the Guinness Book of World Records for final validation. We had independent witnesses coming for 4 hours each from ICAI, Kalinga Runners Group. They timed every lap that Kamal achieved. Once Guinness Book approves the evidence, Nayak would become the world record holder,” said Siddharth Daga, his mobility partner.
Upon creating a new record, Nayak said, “Nothing is impossible in life. I am thankful to my sister and mentors who motivated me to overcome the physical barriers. I have been practising for the last six years to achieve this and was confident of covering the distance in a record time.”
Nayak is the only Indian to have completed a wheelchair ultra-marathon of 139.57 km in 15 hours. He is also the captain of the Odisha Wheelchair Basketball Team. The para-athlete continues to inspire many after having suffered an unfortunate spinal cord injury that rendered him paralysed waist down.