China tightrope walker set up for a fall

Mon Jul 5, 2010 1:42pm EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters Life!) - Uighur tightrope walker Adili Wuxor is in for a big let-down -- his Guinness world record claimed last week was not actually recognized by the London-based Guinness World Records.

Instead, the certificate he so proudly received on Friday after spending 60 days living in and tightroping across the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing came from Shanghai Great World, which styles itself as the "China record headquarters."

Its Chinese name of "Jinisi" sounds very similar to the Mandarin pronunciation of Guinness, but the firm is not part of Guinness World Records.

It is managed by the Shanghai Media Group, the country's second biggest broadcaster which is run by the Shanghai government, according to Shanghai Great World's website (

"No, not really," Adili Wuxor's agent Alimu told Reuters by telephone when asked if the feat had been recognized by Guinness World Records. "It was awarded by Shanghai Great World."

Adili Wuxor is a member of the Turkic-speaking Uighur minority who calls the western Chinese region of Xinjiang home.

Guinness World Records said in a statement it had had no contact with Adili Wuxor and had never given him any kind of certificate.

"However, we are available to him if he wishes to apply for an official Guinness World Record," it added.

Guinness said the record was held by Jorge Ojeda-Guzman of the U.S. state of Florida, who spent 205 days on a wire 11 meters (36 ft) long and 10.7 meters (35 ft) above ground between January 1 and July 25, 1993.

Chinese state media, including the official Xinhua news agency, had said that Adili Wuxor had set a Guinness World Record.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)

<p>Adili Wuxor, known as "Prince of the Tightrope", waves the Chinese national flag above the "Bird's Nest" Olympic stadium in Beijing July 2, 2010. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>