Trapped in the Karnataka floods that plagued his village Mannur in Belgaum, boxer Nishan Manohar Kadam swam around 2.5 kilometres to attend a state-level boxing championship in Bengaluru where he won silver, The Times of India reported.

Nishan, a Class XII student, wanted to participate in the championship for a long time. But when floods affected his village, the 19-year-old had no choice but to find an escape route. Wrapping his boxing kit in plastic, the youngster and his father decided to swim a long distance to the main road where they were picked up by the Belgaum district team.

“I was waiting for this event and didn’t want to miss it at any cost. Since our area was surrounded by water and no vehicles could enter, we had no other option but to swim,” Nishan was quoted as saying by the paper.

248 participants from 19 teams across six categories took part during the three-day event in the city that ended on Sunday. Team manager Gajendra S Tripathi said many other participants had to stay back home after their parents refused to send them for the competition.

“Since it is risky to travel, many parents didn’t allow their kids to come. Even Nishan missed practice for many days but when he heard about the championship, he said he had to there. He told us he would swim across so we arranged to pick him up from the nearest motorable road,” Tripathi said.