Zhang Jian Dreams Big

Zhang Jian Dreams Big

Swimmers Set Guinness Record for High-Altitude Swim Crossing of Kanas in China 投稿者 NTDTV

Zhang Jian dreams big.

Jian had once hoped to become the first person to swim across the 141 km (87.6 miles) Taiwan Strait between mainland China and Taiwan. “It would be a dream come true,” said the Sports Director at Beijing Sports University who idea was first born when he swam across the 29.5 km Qiongzhou Strait in 1988.

While he was never able to achieve his dream, his career included a number of other swims including a 123 km (76.4-mile) crossing of Bohai Bay from Liaoning province to Guangdong Province in 50 hours 22 minutes in 2000, a wetsuited 69 km (42.8-mile) wetsuited crossing of the Xing Kai Lake in Heilongjiang province in 36 hours 30 minutes in 2010, the first 31 km high-altitude crossing of the Fuxianhu Lake in 12 hours 1 minute in 2001, the first Ling-Ding Sea crossing from Hong Kong to Macau in 10 hours 43 minutes in 2005, and a 11 hour 56 minute crossing of the English Channel in 2001.

But Zhang’s approach is strategic and scientific as his career is at the Beijing Sports University. His advance preparations are considerable and comprehensive based on his previous marathon swimming experiences. “Although the challenge is done in nature, we must approach [the swim] in a very scientific and rigorous manner. I need to be completely prepared to test my response and capabilities to the environment.”

Jian and colleague Zhang Jie offer a Quality Development Training Camp at Beijing Sports University.

Zwang promotes cross-training as a healthy lifestyle with the Beijing Sports University Joint Beijing Triathlon Association. “The purpose is to improve sports awareness, cultivate interest in sports among the youth, improve their physique, and develop good fitness habits and a character of perseverance.”

Zhang teaches and trains at the Outdoor Sports Center of the Beijing Sports University and coaches the Zhang Jian Open Water Swimming Team [see video above of one of his high-altitude swims at 4,800 meters]. The pioneer offers a diversified curriculum that includes swimming skills and outdoor survival knowledge in a series of classroom lectures enhanced by outdoor training, first-hand observations of Olympic champions in taekwondo and rhythmic gymnastics, and the literature of Chinese classics that emphasize hard-fought victories.

Photo below shows paceline training under the direction of Zhang Jian.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association
Steven Munatones