July 2013; — At the end of June (21st to 30th), the UK team upon arrival in Belgrade, Serbia, walked into a heat wave that was engulfing the city, with temperatures soaring into the 40’s. This year we had a 10 strong team equally divided between men and women and made up of both experienced athletes and some new faces:
- Rebecca Coales
- Dan Betts
- Georgina Miller (Captain)
- Adam De La Mare
- Liv Philip
- Adam Drzazga
- Beci Ryan
- Marcus Greatwood
- Lucelle Simms
- Mark Gooding
The excitement from the start was palpable. Day 1 started with the men and women’s Dynamic No Fins (DNF) and the team delivered some solid performances. Liv Philip and Dan Betts each swam a strong and clean 112 m and Rebecca Coales swam a personal best of 109 m. Day 2 was when the Dynamic competitors got to put on their choice of fin (monofin or bifins) to whizz them through the pool. There were some long swims delivered, in particular by Adam Drzazga (149 m), Dan Betts (143 m) and Mark Gooding (136 m) for the men, and Liv Philip (134 m), Lucelle Simms (131 m) and Georgina Miller (130 m) for the women. There were also some good personal performances from team members Marcus Greatwood, Adam De La Mare, Beci Ryan and Rebecca.
On day 3 the temperatures dropped dramatically, something many competitors had not expected. Temperature can be a very tricky thing for freedivers to contend with in any discipline – if the conditions are too hot the dive reflex can be slow to kick in and if it is very cold shivering can commence and once it does it is extremely hard to relax and this can be detrimental for a long breath hold. Despite the conditions two members of the team, Lucelle Simms and Adam Drzazga, battled through and earned themselves a spot in the B finals. Both Lucelle and Adam excelled again second time round in the final, performing personal best times and securing 13th place respectively on the board.
World Championships are never boring and this competition was no exception. Three World Records were broken in the Women’s DNF Finals alone – firstly by Amber Bourke of Australia who a few strokes later was overtaken by Katarina Turcinovic of Croatia, who in turn was bypassed by Natalia Molchanova as she swam further still, stealing the show and the world record at a massive 182 meters. But that wasn’t it for Natalia, she went on to break the Dynamic World Record the following day by swimming 234 meters and then again the day after, she finished it all off with a hat trick by holding her breath in the Static Final for an incredible 9 minutes and 2 seconds, beating the men along the way! The team was also privileged to watch Croatian Goran Colak break the men’s Dynamic World Record with a mammoth 281 meters. There were many National Records broken, too many to mention and suffice to say it was an exciting few days with many memorable performances.
Next up we have the AIDA 2013 Depth World Championship in Kalamata in September to look forward to and we will be sure to keep you all posted!
For more information contact the British Freediving Association at: <href=”mailto:email@example.com”>firstname.lastname@example.org
All photo credits go to Daan Verhoeven