The Italian Almanac

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youngest swimmer

Italian News - October 18

A 10-year-old boy has become the youngest person ever to swim across the Strait of Messina in southern Italy. Giuseppe Mangano covered the 3,800m (yards) in 55 minutes and 30 seconds, despite poor weather conditions. His trainer said he had lengthened the route by 500m because of strong currents, but Giuseppe "was incredibly focused... and faced the waves calmly".

The boy was escorted during the swim by the trainer and assistants and was cheered on by boatloads of supporters. As he came ashore on Sunday at Cannitello, on the southern tip of mainland Italy, Giuseppe was "calm and happy", said trainer Francesco Cacopardo. "Perhaps he didn't realise the enormity of his achievement," he added.

Giuseppe later celebrated his feat with his father Baldassare, a bar owner, mother Grazia and 12-year-old sister Veronica.