Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)
On Thursday 25 June in Belgrade, Serbia, at the Individual AIDA Pool World Championships, Alice Hickson won a gold medal and with it the title of World Champion Freediver by swimming a staggering 174m on one breath of air without the aid of fins! Smashing her British national record set just a few days before by 21m.
Alice Hickson, 25, a swim coach and studying Occupational Therapist part-time, has only been freediving for eight months. Earlier this year, in March, Alice made her first impression on the freediving scene by winning the ‘Best Female Newcomer’ at the National Pool championships (The Great Northern) in Liverpool:
In Belgrade at the Championships, just a few days previously, on Sunday 21 June, Alice started getting noticed by swimming 153m in dynamic no fins (DNF) with complete ease, breaking the previous UK national record of 145m, set by Rebecca Coales at The Great Northern on 24 March 2014. The distance also secured her a place in the A Finals of the World Championships and at that time ranked her third in the World.
Of her two dynamic no fins competition dives, both setting national records and the second placing her at first place on the podium at the World Championships, Alice had this to say:
“I was excited to come to the World championships as I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the competitive world of freediving and gain some experience. I’ve only ever done one other completion so I didn’t know what to expect but so far its been amazing and totally overwhelming, in a good way. The day before the competition I started getting really nervous and doubted my ability to compete against some of the best people in the sport. But then I remembered why I was here, for experience and to enjoy it so I told my self just ‘do your best’ and that’s all you can do. So during my first dive I kept that thought and made it into the finals, whist setting a new national record. I was chuffed. Then it was time for the finals, I used the same motto to calm my nerves but at the last minute before official top, I felt my heart racing and the last thing I thought is that whatever happens I’ve come eighth.”
Alice looks set to be a World Class athlete and we are excited to watch her journey as it unfolds.