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China's Zhang Jian sets swimming record

08-11-2010 11:03 BJT

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Less than one day after completing an incredible swimming feat, China's Zhang Jian is getting ready to enter the history books. Zhang made the longest crossing of a fresh water lake by a Chinese, by crossing the 69 kilometers of Xing Kai Lake on Monday.

And now, Zhang's record has been confirmed by the Shanghai office's world record book. Zhang says good weather, teamwork, and experience were the most important factors in his success. He says this journey may be the last great accomplishment of his career.

Zhang Jian, professor of Beijing Sports University,said, "My experience told us to be patient, so I began my journey just like this. I swam freestyle a little and then changed to backstroke and breast stroke. This was to ensure my body was not too tired. And this should be my last record attempt as I had not done something like this in five years."

The 46-year-old teacher completed his journey in Xing Kai Lake in Heilongjiang province, after battling not only the long distance, but also isolation and the elements. Zhang set-out on Sunday morning, and was forced to fight through some tough weather. The start of his remarkable swim was almost all against the wind, with the waves also providing a big challenge.

As if this wasn't enough, Zhang also had to battle through frequent rainstorms throughout his attempt.

Xing Kai Lake is not only big, but also very cold. Zhang wore a one-piece wetsuit to keep his core temperature at a healthy level. He spent 36 hours and 30 minutes in the water, and finally finished his tour on Monday evening, three hours earlier than predicted.

This was just the latest great swimming feat from the Beijing Sport University teacher. Ten years ago, Zhang spent 50 hours and 22 minutes in the water crossing the Bohai Sea, swimming more than 100 kilometers.

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CNTV

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