Becoming Fearless In the Open Water

Becoming Fearless In the Open Water

Zhang Jie, a 23-year-old coach at Beijing Sports University, successfully swam 74 km down the Qingjiang River, a tributary of Yangtze River, the longest river in China.

Back in 2006, Zhang was a member of Zhang Jian Open Water Swimming Team that successfully swam 150 km in Qingjiang, so she had some experience in the lake.

Zhang Jian, the first Chinese who swam across the English Channel, said, “Swimming in Qingjiang is tougher than in the sea due to the low temperature and the distance, which requires high physical and psychological quality of the challenger.”

But Jie has the pedigree of a marathon swimmer with an 8 hour 3 minute Cook Strait crossing under her cap in 2007.

The Daily News is waiting word if Zhang completed his scheduled Guinness Book of World Record attempt of 80 km across Xingkaihu Lake in Heilongjiang Province, China near the Russian border. It was conducted on the anniversary of the Opening Day of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “I guess I will be fearless in the rest of my life if I succeed.”

Copyright © 2010 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones