Hail and hearty, the elderly Chinese who defy their advancing years with range of stunning physical feats

Men who can still do the splits in their seventies and beyond, an octogenarian push-up queen and an ageless boxer show off their prowess

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 4:49pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 October, 2017, 4:49pm

Some of China’s fittest elderly people have been displaying their prowess with physical feats that would challenge many people half their age to mark the Chung Yeung festival on Saturday.

To mark the occasion, the website of People’s Daily published pictures and stories about senior citizens across the country who have remained fit and strong.

One of them was Liu Fuzhong, a 73-year-old Jinzhong resident in Shanxi province.

He was reported to spend about eight hours a day practising physical exercises in the park and often amazes his audience by doing the splits and high kicks.

Liu also hangs himself upside down from a tree in front of his house, for over 10 minutes every day.

Liu was not the only one still able to do the splits. Zhang Chenglin, 96 and from Taiyuan in Shanxi, was also said to be well known in his town for doing this stunt.

One slightly younger fitness fanatic was 60-year-old Chen Ming from Changchun, Jilin province, who still takes part in regular bouts in the boxing ring. He said many people who encountered him thought he was in his Forties.

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Joining this name list of gymnastic superman and superwoman was an unnamed 97-year-old man from Chongqing who can do a push-up with only three fingers from each hand and Li Guochuan, an 84-year-old woman from Fuzhou, in Fujian province, who is able to do 200 push-ups in 20 minutes.

China is one of the world’s fastest ageing countries. In 2015 there were more than 220 million people aged over 60 on the mainland, accounting for just over 16 per cent of the whole population.

Experts predict that China will have 500 million residents aged over 60 at the middle of this century.

Chung Yeung, or the Double Ninth, is a festival that falls on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month.

Traditionally it was a time for families to honour the spirits of their ancestors and it has also become an event to celebrate the elderly in mainland China.