KOTA KINABALU: Even as the country celebrated Estino Taniyu's successful completion of a solo challenge across the 33.6km English Channel, his mother in Semporna knew nothing of his feat.
It was only much later that she was told of her son's triumph. “Really? Syukur Allah (Thank God),” said Jahia Asaral, 47, an ethnic Bajau housewife, when told of the good news yesterday.
She said the last time she got a call from Estino was from “his office” in Peninsular Malaysia earlier this month when he called to inform her that he was leaving for England.
She then told her second child to take care.
Speaking through an interpreter in a telephone interview, Jahia said: “We thank the Government for giving our son the opportunity to bring a good name to our family.”
Estino made history as the third Malaysian to conquer the English Channel at 10.20pm Malaysian time on Friday.
The Malaysian Royal Navy personnel reached Sandy Beach, Calais in France, after taking off from Dover Beach in Britain at 8.41am (Malaysian time), Bernama reported the Prime Minister's press secretary, Datuk Akmar Hisham Mokhles as saying.
The 1Malaysia English Channel Unity Swim Expedition swimmer clocked 13 hours 45 minutes to complete his endeavour.
Datuk Abdul Malik Mydin first completed the feat in 2003 in 17 hours and 35 minutes, followed by Lennard Lee in 2004, who finished in nine hours and 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, the relay team of six swimmers, also from the Malaysian navy, completed their challenge of swimming across the English Channel at 4pm on Thursday in 14 hours and 30 minutes.
The team comprised Mohd Roslan Mohd Zawawi, Mohd Khairul Faizal Mazli, Mohd Salleh Mahmor, Buranurdin Sali, Sharizal Omar and Mohd Zulfadhli Mahamad.
The swimmers are expected to touch down at the KL International Airport at 7.30am today
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak praised Estino for successfully overcoming numerous challenges, including choppy waters, to claim the swimming success.
“As for the relay team, we are also proud of their successes and they have displayed the Malaysia Boleh spirit,” he said.
In Kota Kinabalu, RMN Region II commander for Sabah and Sarawak Rear Admiral Datuk Mohammad Roslan Omar said Estino's achievement had brought great pride to the Navy, to Malaysians and particularly to Sabahans. - theStarOnline