New Zealand sky-high trapeze act in world record bid

Anna Cochrane in an acrobatic pose suspended on the trapeze Image copyright COBi Digital
Image caption Don't look down: Anna Cochrane managed to carry on despite an injury

A New Zealand paramedic has performed a static trapeze act while suspended at an altitude of more than 3,000m, in a bid to break the world record.

Anna Cochrane, who is also a Pilates teacher, performed for more than five minutes while hanging from a hot air balloon in the skies above Ashburton, despite dislocating a rib early in the routine, the Stuff.co.nz website reports. She tells the site that doing acrobatics at heights of up to 3,500m (11,400ft) was more of a mental challenge than a physical one. "There's no way of knowing how you'll react until you're up there," she says. On a static trapeze, unlike other forms, the ropes are fixed and mostly don't swing.

If confirmed, she will have smashed the record for the highest static trapeze act, which currently stands at 662m (2,171ft) and was set in China in 2008. Guinness World Records says it is reviewing the evidence for the latest attempt, a process that can take several weeks.

Ms Cochrane spent a year preparing for the record attempt, raising money for charity in the process, but says the rib injury made it the most painful performance of her life. It also demanded some mid-air improvisation to avoid puncturing a lung. "I'm a paramedic, so I assessed myself while hanging upside down," she says. "I thought, there's definitely something wrong, but I can breathe OK, and I have spent this long trying to be here."

Image copyright COBi Digital
Image caption Ms Cochrane was supported by a team on board the hot air balloon

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