Shattered dreams: The most embarrassing world record attempt?

Reuben De Jong from New Zealand set a Guinness World Record by crashing his way through 15 panes of tempered glass in 2009 – using just his body.

The year after his spectacular feat he appeared on CCTV, China’s largest television network, to attempt to smash 17 panes and claim a new world record.

He lined up in an American football outfit, as in 2009, and rushed towards the first pane of glass. But he bounced back the first time. And the second. And the third. Only on his eighth attempt did he break through the first pane. And the remaining 16 were left intact.

Five years later, the video clip has gone viral again on Weibo, the Chinese social media platform. It has been dubbed one of the most awkward Guinness World Record attempts.

Many netizens have tried to explain Reuben’s remarkable failure, with several praising the good quality of the Chinese-made tempered glass. Weibo user @iTany4 suggested it was easier for Reuben to break 15 separate panes in 2009 but in China all the glass was fixed along a single structure, making it much more difficult to be smashed.

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