Kapas-Marang Swimathon 2024: Triumphs and Traditions in Malaysia

Kapas-Marang Swimathon 2024: Triumphs and Traditions in Malaysia

The Kapas-Marang Swimathon 2024 drew a vibrant crowd of 400 swimmers from 19 countries, ranging from Thailand to the Netherlands. This prestigious event began at Kapas Island and spanned 6.5 kilometers across the open sea to Kelulut Beach in Marang, Terengganu, Malaysia. Known for its clear waters and scenic underwater coral reefs, the channel offered both a beautiful and challenging course for the participants.

Jose Luis Larrosa emerged victorious in this year’s competition, completing the swim in an impressive 1 hour, 24 minutes, and 34 seconds. This marked a significant achievement for Larrosa, who had participated in the event twice previously, finishing fourth both times. Reflecting on his experience, he noted the unpredictable sea conditions as part of the sport’s allure. “Each swim is unique due to the ever-changing conditions. Today, the mid-current was notably strong, yet it added to the challenge and beauty of the race,” said Larrosa.

Adapting to New Norms

A significant aspect of this year’s swimathon was the introduction of Sharia-compliant swimwear guidelines by the Terengganu State Government. These rules were implemented to align with local cultural expectations, requiring all participants to wear modest swimwear. Women were advised to wear full-body swimsuits, and men were required to wear swim trunks that covered at least three-quarters of their legs.

Despite these new regulations, the event welcomed an enthusiastic international presence, although the number of participants saw a slight decrease from the previous year. Saiful Nizam Kamal Ariffin, the program director, expressed his views on the adaptation to the rules. “We faced a few challenges, such as the disqualification of a participant due to non-compliance with the swimwear guidelines. However, these instances were handled with understanding, and we made sure all participants were aware of the expectations,” he commented.

Looking Forward

The organizers are committed to not only maintaining the integrity of this challenging sporting event but also enhancing its appeal on an international scale. Plans for next year’s swimathon are already underway, with efforts focused on broader promotion and smoother integration of the swimwear guidelines.

Saiful Mak Chemen, the event organizer said:

Kapas Marang is regarded as one of toughest OWS challenge in the region. As swimmers have to perform 6.5 km across a strait from the island to the finish line on the mainland. This year witnessed one of the heaviest underwater currents among the years sweeping all swimmers off course, making the swim clocked at 7km and even some to 8km. Yet, still they persevered and completed the challenge in style. Only 24 did not finish the race. Overall, the event was highly successful with applause from swimmers and high ranking leaders of government personnel, and all safety authorities.

Top Performers

Here’s a look at the top ten finishers of the 2024 Kapas-Marang Swimathon:


1Jose Luis Larrosa01:24:34
2Ning Zheng Lee01:42:47
3Adli Safwan Sarman01:43:27
4Sheikh Ali Imran01:43:29
5Kumar Sundeep01:43:29
6Howie Loh01:43:35
7Tomaso Ceccarelli01:46:20
8Biswanath Adhikari01:47:21
9Khor Wee Chuang01:50:59
10Salleh Abdul Hai01:55:27


1Xue Ting Low01:51:08
2Grandadam Genevieve01:55:41
3Siew May Loh02:04:05
4Anderson Kimberley02:07:13
5Ahmad Imam Ain Nasuha02:10:46
6Gardner Jade02:16:12
7Bakker Francoise02:19:33
8Farhana Fatin02:26:10
9Dania Safiyya Nik Nur02:26:10
10Qistina Ayu Nur02:26:30

All race results here

Photo credits: Beautiful Terengganu Malaysia Facebook