Breaking up is hard to do with slabs, world records
There's no rushing the Guinness Book of Records but after a dignified pause it has ratified Grand Master Neal Hardy's breaking, last February in Canberra's Petrie Plaza, of his own world record.
For last February he lay on a bed of nails while a 774.99-kilogram slab of concrete was lain on his chest and then smashed up with sledgehammers. This beat his previous record achieved beneath a slab weighing 532.2 kilograms.
Now he's ''thinking of a ton'', although ''I'll have to do it soon because I'm not getting any younger.'' He's 58.
But yes, attempted next year it could be an unofficial centenary event. We doubt that the centenary's Creative Director Robyn Archer would give it her blessing because it seems a pointlessly ultramacho thing to do. And yet, Hardy assured us yesterday, ''It's not so much about strength as harnessing your mind and body with the aid of chi or internal energy.'' He can harness them, he says, because of his training in Pai Lum or White Dragon Kung Fu.
It's like what happens, he explains, when someone not famously strong rushes in and, their mind and body harnessed by urgency, lifts a car up off the person trapped underneath.
But has anyone ever actually done that, this sceptic wondered later? Until we see such a feat celebrated in the Guinness Book of Records, the bible of these things, we will choose to believe it is impossible.