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Four Belgians beat padel world record by 7 minutes

A padel racket. Credit: Belga

In Bruges, four friends of Padelclub Azalea broke the padel world record by playing for 26 hours and 10 minutes last weekend, which is seven minutes longer than the previous world record.

Padel is an outdoor racket sport, combining elements from both tennis and squash, which became increasingly popular in Belgium during the coronavirus crisis.

Four friends, Kevin Caestecker, Christophe Meulebrouck, Pieter Cools and Frederik Boi started their attempt to break the padel world record on Saturday, with a camera above their heads – as the images still have to be viewed by the people of Guinness World Records.

“We had to make sure that everything stayed correct the whole time,” Boi told Het Nieuwsblad.

Their initial aim was to play for 28 hours, but they stopped after beating the previous world record, which was 26 hours and 3 minutes.

Through sponsorship and a big event with spectators last weekend, they collected €22,500, which they are giving to charity. Part will be donated to the Fara Demeyer Foundation, for the daughter of one of the padel club members, who has leukaemia. Another part will go to SuperKrachtig Lekker of the non-profit organisation Kinderkankerfonds.

According to the rules, the men could take a 5-minute break per hour of playing, but they decided to accumulate them instead: they played for four hours straight and then took a 20-minute break, before playing for another four hours.

“I thought the conditions were ideal, but it was a bit warmer than expected,” Meulebrouck said on local radio. “Those first hours in the full sun did kill me a bit, and then you still have to go through the night.”

While the cooler temperatures during the night helped, the rising temperatures after the sun came up hit twice as hard, he said.

“It is an assault on your body: your lower back, shoulders, legs, calves, it all suffer,” Meulebrouck said, adding that all of that was quickly forgotten once the goal was achieved.

In the meantime, another Belgian padel club already announced that it will also attempt to break the world record, according to Boi.

“I think anyone can do it,” he said. “You do something like that on autopilot. And if those people do it with the same goal as us (donating the money to charity), we can only applaud that.”

The Brussels Times

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