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Wenzhou swimmers triumph over English Channel crossing challenge

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: August 10, 2023 L M S


Four swimmers from Wenzhou take a group photo after they cross the English Channel. [Photo/Tide News]

On August 4, at 14:29 local time in France, four winter swimming enthusiasts from Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province successfully crossed the English Channel in relay in less than 12 hours.

The English Channel crossing is one of the most famous swimming challenges across the globe and often referred to as the Qomolangma, or Mount Everest, of the swimming world. During the 56-kilometer S-shape journey, each team member swam for at least an hour before alternating and maintained this pattern until they reached their destination.


A member of the team swims across the channel. [Photo/Tide News]

The biggest hurdle faced by the team was the water temperature, which was a chilly 16 Celsius at the starting point. Despite this, "We were fortunate to have favorable weather conditions, with a tailwind and tides travelling in the same direction," said Zhao Jing, a team member.

Team captain Xie Derong, a resident of Wenzhou's Longwan district, said that although the relay went smoothly for the most part, the final 6 kilometers proved to be an immense test of their endurance. "We encountered opposing currents which caused a slowdown in our speeds," he said.