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70-year-old celebrates Channel crossing record

SYDNEY--A 70-year-old Australian grandfather has become the oldest person to swim the English Channel, celebrating his feat by having a couple of beers “for medicinal purposes.”

Cyril Baldock, from Bondi in Sydney's eastern suburbs, said the beers tasted better than the sea water he swallowed during the record-breaking swim from England to France on Wednesday, which made him “pretty crook,” or unwell.

Baldock, aged 70 years and nine months, took 12 hours and 45 minutes to swim from Dover to Cap Gris-Nez — a straight line distance of 34 kilometers (21 miles) — beating the previous record set by British man Roger Allsopp, who was five months younger, in 2011.

“I'm having a couple of beers for medicinal purposes only, to make myself sleep,” Baldock told Australian Associated Press after he completed the swim in only a cap, goggles and trunks as Channel swimming rules dictate.

“Around the 10-hour mark I had a bad half-hour and was starting to worry a bit,” he said.

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