Magician breaks world record for holding breath

May 1st, 2008 - 10:45 am ICT by admin  

Los Angeles, May 1 (DPA) Magician David Blaine held his breath for 17 minutes and four seconds Wednesday to beat the previous world record of 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set in September by Switzerland’s Peter Colat. Blaine, 35, performed the feat on live television, submerged in a tank of water on the Oprah Winfrey Show after breathing pure oxygen for 23 minutes.

After surpassing the record he took several deep breaths of air before telling Winfrey that he felt great by achieving “a lifelong dream”.

After a brief recovery period, Blaine told the talk show queen that he had been hoping to make it to 23 minutes but failed to get his heartbeat down to the 20 beats per minute that he had achieved in training. Under the pressure of the live studio feat his heartbeat rarely dropped below 100 beats per minute.

“I actually started to doubt I was going to make it because I’d never done it with such a high heart rate,” he said.

Blaine said he was motivated in his attempt by his desire to “push his body to the limit”.

His previous feats have involved being buried in a coffin for a week, being encased in ice for two-and-a-half days, and fasting for 44 days in a box.

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