V. Kutraleeswaran

Arjuna Award

Swimming  1996

Kutral Ramesh (born 8 November 1981), popularly known as Kutraleeswaran, is an Indian swimmer. He swam across the Palk Strait, in April 1994. He swam across the English Channel in 1994 when he was 13 years old and in the same year, he swam across the Rottnest Channel in Australia, the Straits of Messina in Italy, the Zannone Circeo in Italy and the Ten Degree Channel to surpass Mihir Sen's record of completing five channels in a calendar year. He received the Arjuna Award and the Guinness world record in 1996.

He began his swimming at the age of seven. His first attempt was at a district level swimming contest known as the "Ribbon Meet". It is called a ribbon meet is because the top 6 out of the 8 district level finalists get a ribbon. In that contest, he got sixth position and a ribbon. He took part in many district and state-level contests. At the age of 10, he took part in 5 km swimming competition in the sea. Though the youngest participant, he managed to get fourth place and this event was a stepping stone in his swimming career in 1991.

After setting the record, he took part in competitions all over the world. Between 1995 and 1998, he was the only participant from Asia of the 25 swimmers selected from across the world for the World Series in Swimming. He represented India in more than six competitions around the world and won medals for India, which includes the 1st prize in Switzerland. 


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