• Kyodo

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A 48-year-old man from Yamagata Prefecture on Monday swam the strait between the Asian mainland and Sakhalin, a distance of some 28 km, in about 11.5 hours, one of his friends said Tuesday.

Ken Igarashi, a Tsuruoka municipal employee in the prefecture, is the first person to swim across the Mamiya Strait, known as the Tatarskiy Proliv in Russia, and will apply for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Igarashi started from a Russian village at 7:30 a.m. Monday local time before coming ashore at a village on Sakhalin in the evening. He is estimated to have swum some 60 km after being caught up in currents.

In 1999, Igarashi swam the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido, a distance of about 27 km. In 2000, he swam the Straits of Dover between England and France, a distance of about 36 km.

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