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Swimming base to be set up in Haitan Strait in Pingtan

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-01-28

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The Pingtan Social Affairs Bureau signed a cooperation agreement with the Beijing Hengdu Sports Development Co on Jan 16 that vowed jointly set up an open-water swimming base in the Haitan Strait in Pingtan.

Swimming base to be set up in Haitan Strait in Pingtan

Ouyang Xiaobo (right, front), director of the Pingtan Social Affairs Bureau, and Zhang Jian, head of the Beijing Hengdu Sports Development Co, sign cooperation agreements to jointly build an open-water swimming base in Pingtan’s Haitan Strait, Jan 16. [Photo/sohu.com]

The two sides began exploring the cooperation, following a historic relay swimming event in Aug 2014, when 14 swimmers from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland swam across the Taiwan Straits over five days from Taiwan’s Hsinchu to Fujian’s Pingtan.

“After that, we were looking to build a base for strait-crossing trainings in order to better promote the sport. After a number of inspections we decided to land it in the Haitan Strait in Pingtan,” said Zhang Jian, Hengdu Sports’ head, also a famous long-distance swimmer.

“The Haitan Strait has a perfect span distance of about 5 km. We plan to hold a mass cross-(Haitan) strait swim competition from Aug 18 to 22 every year,” he added.

Besides holding the annual cross-strait swimming event, Hengdu Sports will also hold swimming training in open water and even plan a tour program integrating the water sports experience.

A monument commemorating the Cross-Straits Relay Swim last year was recently unveiled at the Longfengtou Beach, which is the destination of the event, with names of all 14 swimmers carved on it.

The monument witnessed a closer tie between people across the Taiwan Strait and is a token of the common wish for cross-Straits peace and prosperity, said Zhou Qingsong, deputy director of the administrative committee of the Pingtan Comprehensive Pilot Zone.

Zhang, as a member of the relay swim team, was excited to return to Pingtan, and believed that the monument will promote perseverance and the courageous spirit of people across the Straits to the world.

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