For a cause: Mariam Saleh Binladen completes assisted English Channel swim

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Mariam Saleh Binladen after her River Thames swim feat in June.
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Mariam Saleh Binladen leaves the White Cliffs of Dover on Channel swim.
Updated 26 September 2016

For a cause: Mariam Saleh Binladen completes assisted English Channel swim

DOVER, England: Mariam Saleh Binladen became the first from Saudi Arabia to make a solo assisted crossing of the English Channel, the world’s most celebrated open water swim. Mariam took on the Channel swim as part of a series of ultimate endurance challenges to raise awareness of the plight of orphan children from Syria.
The story of Mariam’s epic swimming feats will be told in a film documentary ‘I am Mariam Binladen’ to be premiered in December.
Mariam’s Channel swim was ratified by the Channel Crossing Association (CCA) which permits swimmers to wear wetsuits and receive assistance to ensure a safe crossing. Mariam completed the swim in 11 hours and 41 minutes, setting off at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from Samphire Hoe in Dover on the south coast of England and landing at Cap Gris Nez in Calais France at 6:41 p.m. on Tuesday.
Mariam’s swim coincided with some unusually warm weather conditions in the south of England. Temperatures have reached record highs of over 30 degrees Celsius, last seen more than 100 years ago in 1911. In completing the Channel, Mariam successfully navigated one of the worlds’ busiest shipping lanes with up to 600 tankers and 200 ferries passing through each day.
Commenting on the swim Mariam said: “Completing the Channel swim is a dream come true and the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition. It has been an incredibly tough two years preparing for this, but I have learned that if you are determined enough to achieve your goals and dreams – they can and will happen. I hope that my achievements will inspire others whilst at the same time I hope to draw more awareness to the plight of millions of suffering Syrian orphan refugees.”
According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) more than 4 million Syrians have fled their homeland with half being children under the age of 17.
Mariam continued: “As a young woman from the Middle East, I wanted to use my endurance swims to draw more awareness to the humanitarian disaster in Syria and hopefully make some kind of difference to the lives of those affected, particularly the orphaned children.”
Earlier in the summer, Mariam set a new world record as the first woman to officially swim 101 miles of the source of the River Thames in the United Kingdom. The June swim was completed over 10 days, during which Mariam navigated 32 locks and some of the South of England’s most iconic towns and villages. Known for its strong currents and eddies as well as high pollution levels, the Thames is well-known for being one of the most challenging and dangerous river swims.
Mariam prepared for the Channel swim for more than two years with a punishing physical training program supported by her coach and swim-mentor Fiona Southwell. Training included daily routines in the open water and the completion of several marathon swim events. In August 2015, Mariam swam the Hellespont open water swim in Turkey becoming the first Saudi female to complete the race from Europe to Asia.
Mariam was guided across the Channel by experienced pilot Andrew King, skipper of the escort boat and founder of the Channel Crossing Association. A film documentary ‘I am Mariam Binladen’ chronicling Mariam’s journey and achievements will be aired at the end of the year on Swiss TV.
Download a short interview with Mariam here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bUnBs1fAgk


Bayern Munich with one hand on Bundesliga title after 1-0 win at Dortmund

Updated 23 min 52 sec ago

Bayern Munich with one hand on Bundesliga title after 1-0 win at Dortmund

  • Kimmich sent a perfectly-weighted chip over stranded keeper Roman Buerki

DORTMUND: Joshua Kimmich’s sweet first-half lob gave leaders Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Tuesday to close in on the league title with a seven-point advantage over their rivals and six games left in the season.
Kimmich sent a perfectly-weighted chip over stranded keeper Roman Buerki in the 43rd minute as the champions landed a big win, at an empty stadium that normally seats 80,000 fans, in their quest for a record-extending eighth straight league crown.
Bayern, who have now won seven straight league matches, are on 64 points with Dortmund still on 57. RB Leipzig, who face Hertha Berlin on Wednesday, are third with 54.
The Bundesliga became the first major league to restart 10 days ago after a break of more than two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with games played without supporters to reduce the risk of infection.
It all started well for hosts Dortmund, who were on a six-game winning streak going into the match, with teenage sensation Erling Haaland almost scoring in the opening seconds as Bayern’s Jerome Boateng had to clear the ball off the line.
The visitors gradually found their footing and had their own effort cleared off the line when Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek denied Serge Gnabry from five meters.
In a fluid and entertaining first half Norway international Haaland should have done better when he was sent through in the 33rd minute with Alphonso Davies stealing the ball away.
It was Kimmich’s delightful effort that settled the game when he spotted Buerki off his line and superbly chipped the ball from the edge of the box over the keeper.
Bayern stayed in control after the break and an injury meant Dortmund lost Haaland, who earlier had another effort deflected wide by Boateng’s elbow, with 18 minutes left.
Dortmund’s Mo Dahoud tried his luck from outside the box but visiting keeper Manuel Neuer, on his 400th league appearance, managed to preserve his clean sheet before team mate Robert Lewandowski hit the post in the 83rd for Bayern.