ISLAMABAD, Jan 14: Mohammad Zubair broke the world record of individual longest continual rowing in Pakistan when he rowed 10 hours straight at a private fitness club on Saturday.

Under the supervision of both international and national rowing umpires from Pakistan Rowing Federation, the 31-year-old Mohammad Zubair broke the previous record of 7 hours 11 minutes and 22 seconds held by an Australian on the Concept II indoor rowing machine.

He stopped short of completing 100 kilometers for which he started again to finish the remaining 1,200 meters in roughly six minutes.

The record in this age group and weight category was of Shane Usher, Melbourne, Australia.

All necessary conditions had been met for continuous rowing and to break the record in single distance or timed pieces without intervals and starting from a non-moving flywheel with the machine placed on a level surface.

Umpires occasionally checked the performance meter attached to the machine to record distances.

By the time Mohammad Zubair broke the record he had rowed 72 kilometers.

That was equal to 13 laps of the Rawal Lake or rowing from Islamabad to as far as Mansehra.

Pakistans only International Rowing Umpire, and Executive Member of the Pakistan Rowing Federation, Imtiaz Ahmad Khan said indoor rowing was today a recognized sport around the world.

“The game requires athletes to row two kilometers. The athlete who rows the fasts wins the race. Pakistans Maqbool Ahmad who has participated in Asian and World Championships in indoor machine rowing holds the record of fastest covering of 2 kilometers in 6 minutes and 18 seconds,” said Imtiaz Ahmad Khan a colour holder himself while his colleague Bronze Medalist and National Umpire, Pakistan Rowing Federation Shahid Nazir noted timings on his notepad.

The colour holder elaborated that unlike rowing on water, where records were broken every year because of different water and weather conditions around the world, this new world record set by Mohammad Zubair was for lifetime until somebody decided to hop on the machine and attempt to break it by rowing for more than 10 hours.

Mohammad Zubair, a Marketing Executive in Smarts, a private health and fitness gym in Islamabad, was the first Pakistani to take on such a challenge.

Mohammad Zubair started rowing at 10 am on Saturday morning and continued till 9 pm in the night setting a new world record of 10 hours.

By Jamal Shahid

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