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China: Around The Nation

Speedy transit across town? Forget the subway, try parkour

A Sichuan college student has found a faster way than the subway to get from one subway station to another.

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 May, 2017, 12:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 August, 2017, 2:33pm

In a crowded Chinese metropolis, the subway is often the speediest way to get across town – but one Sichuan college student has found an even faster way.

A video posted online shows the Chengdu college student dashing past other commuters, leaping over concrete walls and hedges, and rolling along the ground to get from Chunxi Road Station to the Dongmen Bridge Station where he boarded the same subway train.

For Hong Kong’s parkour fans, city is one giant obstacle course

The 800 metre distance was “not too long” and took him two minutes – although he expected to be faster, Hou Rong says in the video.

“I saw a similar video made overseas,” Hou said.

“I do parkour and enjoy shuttling through the city. I was intensely interested in the idea after watching the video and decided with my friends to take on the challenge.

“Back in February, I carelessly twisted my ankle when doing parkour. It hurt to even walk normally. My ankle still hurt very much when I raced that day. But I endured the pain.

“The subway station was overcrowded, so that took a long time,” he said. “The large stream of people became obstacles and greatly affected my speed.”

Parkour is a form of sport that involves moving from one point to another in the fastest way possible. Resembling military obstacle course training and even acrobatics, it often includes running, climbing, jumping, rolling and vaulting.

After Hou’s video was posted online, a number of Chengdu students tried the same race and beat his time, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

Chinese netizens also took to social media site Weibo to express their amazement.

“I think it’s impossible,” said one Weibo user. “What do you want to prove?” questioned another.

Hou’s actions were inspired by overseas parkour runners, who’ve attempted similar acts.

In 2014, a British commuter filmed and posted online his 380-metre sprint from London’s Mansion House to the Cannon Street Tube station. He made it back onto the same train with seconds to spare.