Yvetta Hlavacova sets new Czech record for swimming English Channel

02-08-2005

Long-distance swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova has set a new Czech record for swimming the English Channel. Setting off from near Dover on Monday morning, Hlavacova completed the gruelling 21-mile swim in eight hours 42 minutes, an hour and 25 minutes short of the world record she was hoping to break. The 30-year-old said La Manche was the greatest swim of her career, but said she would have needed better weather to enter the record books:

"The conditions today were not ideal, and I achieved the maximum I could in the circumstances. I managed to maintain the same tempo the whole time, which I had never done before over such a long distance. I didn't have any crises, I wasn't cold and I'm in the best form of my life. Unfortunately if you want to attack the world record you need a calm sea."

Yvetta Hlavacova, by the way, is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest legs in the world - 1m 26 cm. She was one of three Czechs who completed one of the toughest challenges in sport over the last few days. Opera singer Richard Haan succeeded in swimming the English Channel on his fourth attempt, in a time of 14 hours and seven minutes, while TV sports presenter Stanislav Bartusek did it in ten hours and seven minutes.