[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 27 August 2007, 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK
China girl completes 3,500km run
Zhang Huimin, Chinese eight-year-old runner, and her father
The girl's father denies abusing his daughter by forcing her to run

A Chinese girl has arrived in Beijing after running more than 3,550km (2,200 miles) from the southern province of Hainan in less than two months.

Zhang Huimin, eight, rose each day at 0230 and ran about 1.5 marathons (64km, 40 miles), Xinhua news agency said. Her father accompanied her on a bicycle.

He said the feat was aimed at drawing attention to her Olympic potential ahead of the Beijing games next year.

He denied forcing her to run, but some experts have said it amounted to abuse.

The girl arrived in the Chinese capital on Sunday after starting out in Hainan on 3 July.

She loves to run. Many people don't understand us
Zhang Jianmin

Zhang Huimin, who is 1.22m (4ft) tall and weighs 21kg (46lb), is too young to compete in the 2008 Olympics but her father, Zhang Jianmin, believes she can compete in the 2016 games, when she will be 17.

Domestic media and some experts have accused her father of abuse, saying running such long distances could damage the girl's body and affect her growth.

"I make the training fun for her. I don't push her," Mr Zhang told the Beijing News.

"She loves to run. Many people don't understand us," he said.

Zhang and his wife have separated, mainly because she opposed his way of training their daughter, the newspaper reported.

"Whether people oppose it or not, we will soldier on," Mr Zhang said.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific