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Zhang's 40-Hour Swim Into Unkown

Apr 28, 2010  - Craig Lord

Zhang Jie, of China, is aiming to learn how to "sleep and eat on the go" before attempting a record 40-hour open water swim across Lake Khanka in August.

The 23-year-old, a coach at Beijing Sports University, is hoping to set a new endurance record for women in the 80km swim of the lake, on the border between China's Heilongjiang Province and Russia.

"I have never swum for such a long time in open water. My previous longest swim in open water was 10 hours," Zhang told the Xinhua news agency. "I need to learn how to swim while sleeping and eating. I guess I will be fearless in the rest of my life if I succeed."

Zhang's attempt will be the highlight of an open water challenge between Chinese and Russian swimmers at the lake on August 8 (following that pattern of luck marked by the start of the Beijing Games on 08/08/08), which is China's national fitness day.