Poles apart at freediving championships

archive – Diving NewsPoles apart at freediving championships

A new Dynamic Apnea No Fins (DNF) world record of 244m was set at the Individual AIDA Pool World Championships in Turku, Finland, when Polish freediver Mateusz Malina broke his own 232m mark, set days earlier in qualification.

Then Malina did it again on the last day of the competition in the Dynamic Apnea With Fins (DYN) finals, setting a new 300m world record shared with Giorgos Panagiotakis of Greece, who completed the same distance.

Third-placed Oleksandr Bubenchykov from the Ukraine (289m) also broke Goran Colak¹s  previous world record of 281m, set in 2013.

Meanwhile British freediver Alice Hickson set her second national record at the Turku event by swimming 180m on one breath of air in the no-fins finals. She broke her own 174m record, which won her a gold medal at last year¹s event in Serbia.

This year she had to be content with a silver medal, however, as she was outswum by another Pole, Magdalena Solich. Her 185m dive beat the late Natalia Molchanova's 182m from 2013 to set a new world record.

“I felt more nervous than usual, maybe because of other people's expectations,” said Hickson. “But I had a little word with myself and reminded myself that it's not about the numbers of anyone else – just enjoy the dive and come up clean.

“And it's still early days – this is just the beginning of my freediving journey.” In her 18-month career, Hickson has already broken five records in international competition.

With the introduction of live-streaming of the event with commentary by AIDA officials, “for the first time ever in the history of the sport of freediving, people at home could watch the event unfold moment by moment,” said the British Freediving Association.

“This potentially marks a new era for competitive freediving.”

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