Beijing: More than 50 Chinese Army generals in their mid 50s have shed around five kg due to rigorous training for the massive military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, state media reported on Thursday.
People's Liberation Army Generals, while training for the September 3 parade, have sought no privileges and trained as strictly as all ranks although they are behind younger recruits in terms of reflexes, agility and physical strength.
One of the generals has trimmed his waistline by 12cm.
More than 50 generals, with an average age of 53, will lead parade units involving 12,000 people. The oldest general is 58, more than 30 years older than other soldiers, state-run China Daily reported.
Lieutenant General Deng Zhiping, 52, said he had shed more than 7 kg to less than 80 kg since training began.
"My waistline was trimmed down by 12 cm," said Deng.
Many generals have overcome injuries and illness in training but insist on practicing overtime, said Feng Kaichun, who is in charge of training them.
They seek extra time for training to perform to a high standard. Liu Weixing, the only officer and PhD born in the 1950s, has devoted his military career to scientific research over three decades.
He has never participated in any parade marching training.
To catch up, he practices until he goes to bed late at night.
"I will retire in two years. It is significant to me and my career to join the parade at this point," he said.
Zhang Haiqing, aged 56, straps 4 kg of weights on his legs during training to ensure the required pace.
For perfect standing posture, the generals place poker cards between their knees to ensure there's no visible gap and between their hands and legs to keep their arms locked to their body.
Their clothes are drenched in sweat after training.
To increase stamina, they practice marching more than 200 meters at a time, far more than the 96 meters their coach requires, and they practice several times a day.
China will display a range of missiles during the parade where the army would flaunt latest military gears, not seen in public before. The missiles include long-range, intermediate-range and short-range missiles as well as conventional and nuclear missiles, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted officials as saying.