Seoul, South Korea, May 3, 2007—Kwon Won-tae of South Korea keeps his balance over the Han River during what local organizers billed as the first World High-Wire Championships. The winner of the three-day event, to be announced this weekend, will receive $15,000 (U.S.) for crossing the line the fastest.
Kwon was the first of 18 walkers from eight countries to take to the skies, making it across the 3,280-foot-long (1,000-meter-long) wire in 17 minutes, 7 seconds, according to the Associated Press.
So far Alexey Marchenko of Russia is one of only two competitors to fall from the 1.2-inch-thick (30-millimeter-thick) wire, which was held up by two 72-foot-tall (22-meter-tall) towers on either side of the river. Marchenko appeared unhurt after his plunge into the Han.