Asya Kleshchevnikova
Sports Columnist and Head of Customer Service & International Sales

Kristina Zvaritch

1. Preview of the World Championship
2. Pre-competition forecast by discipline
3. Day 1 of competition (October 5)
3.1. Starting protocols for CWT
3.2. Official results in CWT
4. Day 2 of competition (October 6)
4.1. Starting protocols for FIM
4.2. Official results in FIM
5. Day 3 of competition (October 8)
5.1. Starting protocols for CNF
5.2. Official results in CNF
6. Day 4 of competitio (October 9)
6.2. Starting protocols for CWTB
6.3. Official results in CWTB

Preview of the World Championship

On October 5-9, 2021, in Kaş, Turkey, the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship will take place. All the athletes and freediving fans have already gathered in the very beautiful and welcoming city of Kaş for the final big international competition of the year. We (Asya Kleshchevnikova the reporter and Kristina Zvaritch the editor) will do our best to keep you updated on the events happening in Kaş during these five days.

The plan is as follows:
October 4 - Opening ceremony
October 5 - CWT
October 6 - FIM
October 7 - Reserve day
October 8 - CNF
October 9 - CWTB

Both the men and the women will be performing together on the same days, therefore, award ceremonies are planned to be held at the end of every competition day. It is my wish that all the athletes, organizers, safety team members, and judges are able to hold the event as planned without any unexpected delays or changes.

I believe there is a solid chance that this wish will come true! Here are several reasons why.

First of all, this Championship is the fourth big international CMAS competition held in Kaş. Two previous CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championships, held in 2016 and 2018, were hosted here as well, and the 2017 CMAS Freediving Outdoor European Championship took place in Kaş as well (in case you were wondering, the very first CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship was held in 2015 in Ischia Island, Naples, and in 2019, it took place in Roatán, Honduras).

Additionally, some athletes think that conditions for freediving in Kaş are some of the best among all the diving spots in the Mediterranean Sea. In October, we expect:

  • surface water temperatures between 25-27°C (77-82°F)
  • a mild thermocline below 30m/98ft with temperatures not lower than 20°C (68°F)
  • about 30m/98ft of visibility
  • air temperatures of around 29°C (84°F)
  • a maximum depth of 150m/492ft (located less than 1km/0.6mi away from the beach)

If the weather does not change dramatically and a storm with strong winds does not occur, we may hope for very comfortable and favorable conditions for athletes to achieve some great results.

On each competition day, we will remind you of the official broadcast of the World Championship (yes, there will be Diveye!), and once official results are posted, we will share with you the names of the winners, the brightest moments of the day, and every new successful world record.

In addition, we have developed a special line of freediving apparel devoted to the iconic freediving location and the memorable events which took place in Kaş.

Kaş Special Edition Tee is a limited edition apparel item only available to order during the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship and 1st Master World Championship held at Kaş, Turkey from October 3-10, 2021. With only 100 pieces made, this design will never to be released again. The tee comes in a special edition Turkey red color with the Molchanovs logo on the left section of the chest, “FREEDIVING” on the right shoulder, and “Kaş Limited Edition 2021, Designed by Molchanovs” in small script on the upper back.

The limited edition Kaş apparel is for freedivers who would like to become a part of this history by possessing a unique piece of memorabilia.

Pre-competition forecast by discipline

Now is the time for my traditional pre-competition forecast. About 100 athletes from around 20 countries will compete in four disciplines of depth freediving (CWT, FIM, CNF, and CWTB) on October 5-9, 2021, in Kaş, Turkey.

The list of the competitors in Kaş is different compared to Cyprus. Although there are some similarities, the names of the top favorites and possible winners are different.

First of all, I am happy to inform you that all current CMAS World Record Holders in all disciplines are taking part in the championship event. In addition, most of them arrived in Kaş in advance, and some even managed to set several new world records.


The first discipline in the World Championship is the deepest - CWT. Unbeatable World Record Holder in this discipline, with an incredible dive to 122m/400ft at Vertical Blue 2021, is Alenka Artnik of Slovenia. However, it is unlikely that Alenka will mirror her personal best (PB) record in this championship as well. To win a gold medal, it will be enough for her to perform a clean dive to about 118m/387ft. Her closest rival in this discipline, Alessia Zecchini of Italy, successfully dived to 117m/384ft at Vertical Blue 2021. The most important thing here is to announce a comfortable depth and to avoid a blackout on the first day.

For the bronze medal, the competition is similarly intense. Three people will be competing for only one spot: Chiara Obino of Italy (PB of 101m/331ft in 2019 in Roatán, Honduras), Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine (PB of 102m/335ft in 2019 in Roatán, Honduras), and Marianna Gillespie of France (PB of 102m in 2021 in Kalamata, Greece).

I hope everyone is already familiar with the current world record holder in CWT among men for the last 9 years running - Alexey Molchanov, who has updated his CMAS World Record in CWT to 131m/430ft at 2021 Vertical Blue.

The second best official record among the men in the World Championship belongs to Davide Carrera of Italy, who, after his fifth attempt, managed a successful dived to 122m/400ft at Vertical Blue 2021.

Andrey Matveenko of Russia almost succeeded in diving to 123m/404ft during the 27th AIDA World Championship in Cyprus, but was badly affected by narcosis. Because of this, he lost the line 1m/3ft before the surface and did not manage the surface protocol. Will he try the depth again in Kaş? I hope the answer is “yes” because, first of all, Andrey has dived on the same depth during the official pre-competition training in Kaş (although he suffered the same result as in Cyprus), but he is already used to the feeling of narcosis. Also, considering the fact that CMAS surface protocol is easier for athletes than that of AIDA’s, Andrey has a good chance of performing it properly even under light narcosis. Good luck, Andrey! I am rooting for you!

Another athlete to whom I wish the best of luck is Christos Karelos of Greece. If you have previously read my reports from Cyprus, you may remember that Christos faced an unfair ruling of the judges (in my opinion), who first let him dive after a deep blackout, and then disqualified his clean and beautiful dive to 108m/354ft. Christos has an official personal best record of 117m/384ft, which he reached in Kalamata, Greece, in 2021. The 23-years-young athlete seems to have great potential, which is why I am looking forward to seeing Christos performing in Kaş.


The CMAS World Record in FIM belongs to Alessia Zecchini of Italy, who dived to 101m/331ft at Vertical Blue 2021. But again, in the World Championship, the aim is not to set a new world record, but to complete a dive that is deeper than that of your nearest rival’s and to receive a white card in just a single attempt. This should be enough to earn the World Champion title. Alessia's nearest competitor, who dives 12m/39ft shallower in FIM, is Fatima Korok of Hungary, who managed to win a gold medal in FIM at the 27th AIDA World Championship in Cyprus with her dive to 89m/292ft.

Incidentally, it is possible to say that Alessia does not have any actual competitors in FIM. To assure Alessia's victory, it should be enough for her to dive to around 95m/312ft of depth, which should not be difficult for Alessia.

Then follows the contenders for the silver and bronze medals, Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine (PB of 90m/295ft in 2019 in Roatán, Honduras) and Jennifer Wendland of Germany (PB of 88m/289ft in 2020 in Kalamata, Greece).

Among the men, current CMAS World Record Holder in FIM Alexey Molchanov of Russia is also participating in the World Championship. Alexey's best personal record in FIM is 126m/413ft (Vertical Blue 2021). In the 27th AIDA World Championship in 2021, Alexey dived to 118m/387ft. Petar Klovar of Croatia almost caught up to Alexey in FIM when he successfully dived to 116m/381ft in the same competition and won the title of Vice-champion. Now, both athletes will compete for the gold medal in the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship.

Either Abdelatif Alouach of France, Thibault Guignes of France, or Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia (PBs of 111m/364ft, 117m/384ft, and 116m/381ft, respectively) will compete for the rest of medals.


The strongest woman in CNF and the current world record holder in this discipline is Alessia Zecchini of Italy, who dived to 74m/243ft at Vertical Blue 2021. However, it is not clear whether Alessia will want to dive on her maximum depth in CNF the day before CWTB, a discipline in which Alessia potentially may set a new world record.

CNF is also the main specialization of Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine. In a recent competition, Kaş Baska, which was held in Kaş before the World Championship, Nataliia successfully dived to 70m/243ft, which makes Nataliia the main rival of Alessia in CNF. Perhaps Nataliia may literally ask another athlete to hold her beer and watch her dive in CNF (our little inside joke). To quote the famous underwater photographer, Daan Verhoeven, “I don't have favorites,” but in CNF, I will definitely be rooting for Natalia. Go for it, I am ready to hold your beer for you! ;)

For medals, Fatima Korok of Hungary may also compete (she previously failed a dive to 64m/210ft in Limassol, Cyprus, due to strong current), Jennifer Wendland of Germany (performed 58m/190ft in September 2021, Limassol, Cyprus), and Marianna Gillespie of France (who dived to 57m/187ft in September 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus).

Competition among the men in CNF is sure to be intense. The main favorites, Alexey Molchanov and Petar Klovar, both blacked out in Limassol, Cyprus, while making an attempt to dive to 92m/302ft and 95m/312ft, respectively. Alexey's official personal best record in CNF is 96m/315ft, which he reached in 2014 in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, while Petar dived to 91m/299ft in the cool Adriatic Sea in August 2021. Will the athletes dare try for the same depths in Kaş? Who do you think will win? After their blackouts in Limassol, personally, I feel anxious to watch the their CNF performances.

If the main favorites exceed their limits and cannot manage to complete their dives, other strong CNF athletes (who may even win the Champion title) are Vitomir Maričić of Croatia (PB of 81m/266ft in September 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus), Samo Jeranko of Slovenia (PB of 80m/262ft in October 2021 in Kaş, Turkey), and Abdelatif Alouach of France (PB of 78m in September 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus).


But the most interesting part awaits us on the last day of the World Championship when athletes will compete in CWTB.

Remember that the discipline is still quite new. CWTB was recognized by CMAS as a separate discipline in 2017, and there are athletes who will officially perform in it for the very first time at this year’s competition.

For example, Alessia Zecchini of Italy, who has held world records in all the disciplines of freediving, dived with bifins in official competitions only in 2021. From the start, Alessia improved the world record by 10m/33ft by diving to 105m/344ft (the previous CMAS World Record of 95m/312ft belonged to Alice Modolo of France and was set at Vertical Blue 2021). Then, on the next day of Kaş Baska, the deepest woman in the world (122m/400ft in CWT), Alenka Artnik of Slovenia, dived to 106m/348ft with bifins.

At the official training before the World Championship, Alessia Zecchini attempted a depth of 107m/351ft, but blacked out several meters before the surface. I know this may sound nearly impossible, but it seems that these two incredible women may both announce new world records in CWTB on the last day of competition.

The greater risk is that they both may be too tired by the end of the championship event and exceed their limits while complete their dives. In that case, all former world record holders in CWTB will get the chance to win the World Champion title and the gold medal in CWTB. They are Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine (PB of 94m/308ft in October 2021 in Kaş, Turkey), Jennifer Wendland of Germany (PB of 93m/305ft in July 2021 in Limassol, Cyprus), and Alice Modolo of France (PB of 95m/312ft in July 2021 at Vertical Blue 2021).

Among the men, as usual, the main favorite in CWTB is Alexey Molchanov. He is the current world record holder in this discipline. At Vertical Blue 2021, Alexey dived to 118m/387ft, and in Limassol, Cyprus, Alexey won the AIDA World Champion title in CWTB with his dive to 115m/377ft.

However, Alexey needs to be very cautious with his announcement. On the one hand, it should not be less than the announcements of his three closest rivals, and on the other hand, the depth should be conservative enough to reach it in the one and only attempt athletes are allowed at the World Championship. Can you guess to which depth Alexey will dive in CWTB? I have no idea!

But let's speculate a bit. Former World Record Holder Arnaud Jerald dived to 117m/384ft at Vertical Blue 2021, and then Alexey took the world record holder title back with his dive to 118m/387ft. But then, on the last day of Vertical Blue 2021, Arnaud did not even attempt to win the title back from Alexey. Is Arnaud ready to do it now in the conditions of the open Mediterranean Sea? I would say that Arnaud will announce a depth around 115m/377ft.

Another bifins master, Abdelatif Alouach of France, dived to 115m/377ft in June 2021 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France. The depth seemed to be quite comfortable for Abdel, as he reached it confidently and performed a very clean dive. It seems like this may be the time that Abdel tries to go deeper as long as he is not exhausted with the rush of competing in two world championship events.

Other athletes who may dive deeper than 100m/328ft with bifins are Vincenzo Ferri of Italy (PB of 104m/341ft at Vertical Blue 2021) and Christos Karelos of Greece (PB of 105m/345ft in September 2021 in Kalamata, Greece).

Who will you be placing your bets on?

Day 1 of competition (October 5)

Starting protocols for CWT

 On October 5, 2021, in Kaş, Turkey, the athletes of the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship will compete in the deepest discipline of freediving – CWT.

Unlike the previous 27th AIDA Depth World Championship, the men and women in Kaş will compete together on the same day. There are two boats moored parallel to one another, and each boat holds one official dive line. The Diveye drone will be between the two lines.

On each boat, athlete performances are arranged from the shallowest to deepest announcements until a 20-minute break, and then after the break, performances will be arranged from deepest to shallowest.

The first dive and broadcast starts at 9 a.m. Kaş local time (UTC+3).

Speaking of athlete announcements, I must admit that the first start list surprised me. Phenomenal Alenka Artnik of Slovenia, the current world record holder in CWT with 122m/400ft, announced a 105m/344ft dive, which is an unusually shallow depth for her. While Alessia Zecchini, who could not manage a CWT dive to 117m/384ft at Vertical Blue 2021, announced an impressive 116m/381ft. Perhaps, Alenka wants to rock CWTB and set a new world record on the last day, possibly diving around 110m/361ft. That might be why she decided to sacrifice the Champion title in CWT; she may be trying to avoid becoming too tired at the beginning of the Championship. If Alessia goes as deep as planned, Alenka may get only the silver medal. Considering the 11m/36ft difference between the announcements, for Alessia’s victory, it would be enough for her to dive to 112m/367ft. This is because, according to CMAS rules, she would be deducted 1 point for no tag and 4 points for the difference between her announced performance and reached performance. In total, for a 112m dive, Alessia would get 107 points, which is 1 point more than Alenka would get for her 105m dive. I am eager to see how these two powerful women will react in these conditions!

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Alice Modolo of France, with an announced performance of 104m/341ft, will go for the bronze medal. The depth is 4m/13ft deeper than Alice’s best official record set at Vertical Blue 2021. Perhaps during her training sessions, Alice already managed to dive beyond the 100m/328ft barrier.

Three athletes will be diving to 103m/338ft: Marianna Gillespie of France, Chiara Obino of Italy, and Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine. They could potentially all receive a medal if at least one of the top three athletes make a mistake.

Among the men, however, announcements were made as predicted. The deepest announcement belongs to Alexey Molchanov of Russia. He will be diving to 128m/420ft. Considering that Alexey’s best official record and the current world record in CWT is 131m/430ft, he should manage the dive relatively easily.

The second and third bids for the men are as expected, belonging to Davide Carrera (123m/404ft) and to Andrey Matveenko (122m/400ft). The main intrigue is that neither of the athletes have previously dived these depths in official competitions so far. Will they manage it at the World Championship?

But Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia surprised me with a rather unexpected and deep announcement to 116m/ft, which is equal to his deepest performance at an official competition (Vertical Blue 2017).

All in all, the announcements for the first competition day look quite promising and interesting. Let’s support the athletes and cheer them on online! The live broadcast starts at 9 a.m. Kaş local time (UTC+3) on the TSSF YouTube channel: 

The Top Times of the deepest athletes are as follows:
10:00 a.m. – Marianna Gillespie – 103m/338ft
10:12 a.m. – Chiara Obino – 103m/338ft
10:18 a.m. – Nataliia Zharkova – 103m/338ft
10:24 a.m. – Alice Modolo – 104m/341ft
10:36 a.m. – Vincenzo Ferri – 111m/364ft
10:48 a.m. – Walid Bouhiaf – 116m/381ft
10:54 a.m. – Alexey Molchanov – 128m/420ft
11:00 a.m. – Davide Carrera – 123m/404ft
11:06 a.m. – Andrey Matveenko – 122m/400ft
11:30 a.m. – Christos Karelos – 112m/367ft
11:36 a.m. – Alessia Zecchini – 116m/381ft
11:54 a.m. – Alenka Artnik – 105m/344ft

Athletes, we are watching you and passionately rooting for each of you, and our hearts will be skipping a beat at every last meter of your dives before the surface… Stay strong, stay calm, and have easy and beautiful dives!

Official results in CWT

On October 5, 2021, in Kaş, Turkey, athletes competed in CWT, and everything that could go wrong, did.

First, starts were delayed for 40 minutes, and by 1 p.m., there was another delay for 50 minutes. The reason for the delay was not communicated to the athletes. Moreover, after the second delay, athletes even asked to postpone their starts for another day (not many freedivers are eager to perform deep dives in the afternoon), but their requests were denied.

Therefore, among the first deep dives, the only athlete who managed to perform successfully was Marianna Gillespie of France. Marianna easily reached 103m/338ft of depth, and her performance put her on the second level of the winner’s podium. Other athletes with the same (or almost the same) announcements of 103-104m/338-341ft (Nataliia Zharkova, Chiara Obino, and Alice Modolo) turned earlier than their announced depth and did not qualify for the bronze medal. Therefore, third place went to Alena Konecna of the Czech Republic for her dive to 91m/299ft.

The most dramatic fight was between the women for the gold medal. The competition was between current World Record Holder in CWT Alenka Artnik (with her incredible record of 122m/400ft) and Alessia Zecchini (PB of 117m/384ft). The intrigue began the moment the start list for CWT was published, with Alenka's announcement of 105m/344ft and Alessia's bid of 116m/381ft. At first, it seemed that Alenka willingly conceded the gold medal to Alessia, but it turned out to be the red cape used in bullfighting, instead. Alessia (who could have turned at 112m/367ft and still won the gold medal) decided to reach the bottom plate, but did not grab a bottom tag. Several meters before the surface, Alessia started behaving strangely by removing her nose clip and goggles while still underwater. Inexperienced safeties decided that Alessia needed help and brought her to the surface, thereby disqualifying Alessia's dive due to an underwater blackout (although the athlete surfaced fully conscious), leaving Alessia very disappointed with her dive and with the misdirected assistance.

Afterwards, Alenka performed a calm, beautiful dive to 105m/344ft, a much shallower performance than her personal best record, and won the World Champion title in CWT. Congratulations, Alenka!

To sum up, the women pedestal for CWT was as follows:
1st place - Alenka Artnik of Slovenia (105m/344ft)
2nd place - Marianna Gillespie of France (103m/338ft)
3rd place - Alena Konecna of the Czech Republic (91m/299ft)

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Cheers to all of the patient winners! The day showed us that, to be victorious in freediving, you don't always need to be the deepest, but you do need to stay calm and plan ahead.

Among the men, the story developed in almost in the same direction; the only difference is that the dramatic battle was for second place.

First place was predictably taken by a confident Alexey Molchanov, who performed an incredible dive to 128m/420ft, only 3m/10ft shallower than his own personal best record and world record in CWT. Congratulations, Alexey! The is not single person who could ever doubt you!

For the silver medal, there were two men with almost the same announcements: Davide Carrera with 123m/404ft and Andrey Matveenko with 122m/400ft. Both athletes had never performed dives to these depths in competition before, and unfortunately, this time, they did not succeed.

Davide Carrera first received a white card for his dive. Even so, it was obvious that on the surface, his head leaned too far back into the water, and he took too long to complete the surface protocol. After the judges reviewed the video of his dive, the athlete was disqualified.

For Andrey Matveenko, it was his third overall attempt to dive deeper than the 120m/394ft barrier in competition. Andrey made his first attempt at the 27th AIDA World Championship in Limassol, Cyprus. Sadly, he lost sight of the dive line due to narcosis after returning from 123m/404ft, and did not perform proper surface protocol in time. During the official training before 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor Championship, Andrey dived to 123m once again with the same result. Therefore, for his official dive at the World Championship, Andrey announced 1m/3ft less, choosing to aim for 122m/400ft instead. Several meters before the surface, he used his hand to glide up the dive line to avoid losing it again. However, the safety team decided that Andrey (similar to Alessia) needed help, and proceeded to escort him to the surface. Very sadly, Andrey was disqualified for the underwater blackout.

Of course, Andrey and Alessia protested, but their protests were denied. In addition, both athletes are now unable to compete the day after their (in my opinion, non-existent) underwater blackout. Next time, athletes, the luck will be yours for sure! Keep going, we believe in you!

Once Davide and Andrey dropped out of the race for medals, Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia and Christos Karelos of Greece immediately took their places. Walid Boudhiaf miraculously dived to 116m/381ft, setting a new CMAS National Record for Tunisia and becoming Vice-champion in CWT. Well done, Walid, and welcome back to the podium!

Christos Karelos also has finally received his well-deserved and long-anticipated medal at the World Championship. He dived to 112m/367ft and became the third after Alexey and Walid. This result has also become a new CMAS National Record for Greece. Congratulations, Christos! Your persistence paid off!

Therefore, the male pedestal was as follows:
1st place - Alexey Molchanov of Russia (128m/420ft)
2nd place - Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia (116m/381ft)
3rd place - Christos Karellos of Greece (112m/367ft)

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Let's praise and celebrate the winners!

In addition, CMAS held a competition for masters-level freedivers (freedivers aged 50+ years) for the very first time. In this category the winners are:
1st place and new CMAS World Record - Jesper Stechmann of Denmark (88m/289ft)
2nd place and a new CMAS World Record - Petr Vala of the Czech Republic (81m/266ft)
3rd place - Jens Stotzner of Germany (59m/194ft)

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Moreover, on the first day of the Championship, athletes managed to set 17 new CMAS National Records! It is truly incredible, as we have never seen so many new national records in one day, even during Vertical Blue 2021! I believe this is a very good sign for the development of freediving as an actual sport, which is a matter that is taken very seriously by national teams and athletes.

That was an impressive day! Congratulations to all the winners and national record holders!

Day 2 of competition (October 6)

Starting protocols for FIM

October 6, 2021, in Kaş, Turkey, is the day athletes will perform in FIM at the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship.

Since the main favorite and current World Record Holder in FIM, Alessia Zecchini, is not allowed to compete the day after an underwater blackout, the deepest announcement of 91m/302ft belongs to Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine. Her bid is 1m/3ft deeper than her official personal best record, which Nataliia reached at the previous CMAS World Championship in Roatán, Honduras, in 2019.

After Nataliia, two medalists of the 27th AIDA Depth World Championship follow. In Limassol, Cyprus, Fatima Korok of Hungary and Alena Konecna of the Czech Republic won the competition in FIM with dives to depths of 89m/292ft and 84m/276ft, respectively. This time, Fatima decided to play it safe and announced the same depth as in Cyprus (89m), while Alena will attempt to improve her personal best record with a dive to 86m/282ft. If Alena is aiming for a medal, this announcement just barely made it, because the fourth deepest announcement, belonging to Şahika Ercümen of Turkey, is 85m/279ft (Şahika’s PB is 80m/262ft, Vertical Blue 2021).

All of the announcements seem to be perfectly reachable for all the athletes. If everything goes smoothly on the organizational side, we may witness some very clean dives and predictable victories of very experienced athletes. Go for it, ladies! We will be watching you!

Among men, the deepest bid predictably belongs to Alexey Molchanov, who wisely announced 121m/397ft. If he had announced even 1m/3ft less, he would have risked sharing the first place with (guess who?) Abdelatif Alouach of France.

Honestly, I am very surprised! I anticipated Petar Klovar of Croatia, who dived to 116m/381ft in Limassol and became AIDA Vice-champion in FIM, to be Alexey's main rival in this discipline. However, Abdel previously dived to only 111m/364ft in FIM at an official competition (which earned him third place in the 5th AIDA World Championship), and today, he is aiming to reach 120m/394ft of depth. Breathtaking! Abdel, no matter what you are up to, just be cautious and don't overdo it! This leaves Petar with the third deepest announcement of 119m/390ft.

Can you believe it? Only 1m/3ft difference separates all three of the deepest bids of the day! It will be thrilling to witness! I wish for all the athletes to stay calm, cool, and collected, and for all the fans to feel plenty of excitement.

In case any of the top three athletes make a mistake, Walid Boudhiaf (113m/371ft), Thibault Guignes (108m/354ft), and Samo Jeranko (108m) may steal a medal. However, considering that these high hopes can be crushed as easily as a sandcastle can be destroyed with a lost tag or too long of surface protocol, the following announcement of 107m/351ft by Vitomir Maričić may also bring him to the podium if he is lucky enough.

I am eager to know who will win after all! Are you? Let's watch the broadcast and see how it plays out with our own eyes!

The live broadcast starts at 9 a.m. Kaş local time (UTC+3) on the TSSF YouTube channel: 

The Top Times of the deepest athletes are as follows:
10:35 a.m. - Alena Konecna - 86m/282ft
10:55 a.m. - Nataliia Zharkova - 91m/299ft
11:17 a.m. - Walid Boudhiaf - 113m/371ft
11:24 a.m. – Alexey Molchanov – 121m/397ft
11:29 a.m. - Abdelatif Alouach - 120m/394ft
11:50 a.m. – Petar Klovar - 119m/390ft
11:55 a.m. - Samo Jeranko - 108m/354ft
12:02 p.m. – Thibault Guignes - 108m/354ft
12:07 p.m. - Vitomir Maričić - 107m/351ft
12:27 p.m. - Fatima Korok - 88m/289ft
12:42 p.m. - Şahika Ercümen - 85m/279ft

Official results in FIM

October 6 was the 6th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship FIM day in Kaş, Turkey, and it went surprisingly as planned. The weather was very pleasant (only a slight current right below the water’s surface), the organizers had no delays, and athletes, as far as I could see, had no reason to complain (at least there were no deep blackouts).

Consequently, the day was quite predictable and, I daresay, a little boring. The top three women performed their dives so neatly that they did not leave room for anyone else on the podium. Each of them also set new CMAS National Records for their countries. These three amazing women are:
1st place - Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine - 91m/299ft
2nd place - Fatima Korok of Hungary - 88m/289ft
3rd place - Alena Konecna of the Czech Republic - 86m/282ft

Congratulations, girls! I can assure you that the people in the main square of Kaş really enjoyed watching your incredible dives on the big screen!

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Nevertheless, I would like to be nitpicky here and remind you that even Nataliia's result is still 10m/33ft less than the world record in FIM (101m/331ft), which belongs to Alessia Zecchini of Italy. On the first competition day, Alessia was unfortunately disqualified due to an underwater blackout. In this case, the rules do not allow her to dive on the following day. That is why we did not see Alessia's dive in FIM in this championship event.

14 out of 23 women who competed in FIM successfully managed to set new CMAS National Records for their countries. There would have been 15 records, but unfortunately, Tatiana Zemskikh of Russia blacked out at the surface after her heroic dive to 74m/243ft. The good thing is that Tatiana had already set a new CMAS National Record for Russia in CWT a day ago with her dive to 83m/272ft. Potentially, Tatiana still may set a new national record in CNF after the rest day today. Rest well, Tatiana, and good luck to you on your next dive!

Speaking of the men’s performances, I must say that it was a day of early turns for them. 10 out of 31 athletes turned earlier before their announced depths. Even Abdelatif Alouach of France, who had the second deepest bid of 120m/394ft, made his turn at 10m/33ft, presumably because of sinus issues.

But of course, Alexey Molchanov was not among them. He had an impeccable dive to 121m/397ft, earning him the gold medal and the World Champion title. Congratulations, Alexey! You did it again!

Although Alexey's dive was beautiful and granted him the gold medal, it still was 5m/16ft less than Alexey's official personal best record and the current world record of 126m/413ft (Vertial Blue 2021). This is unlike Petar Klovar of Croatia, who managed to improve his previous personal best official record and national record of Croatia by a distance of 3m/10ft with his strong dive to 119m/390ft. Due to Abdel's turn at 10m/33ft, he withdrew from the competition for medals in FIM, with Petar earning himself the silver medal and World Vice-champion status. Cheers, Petar! Are you going to fight for a new world record soon? That would be epic!

The third place for a 113m/371ft dive went to Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia. Bravo, Walid! I must say that Walid is a very experienced freediver with his specialization being in FIM. The athlete has participated in world championships since 2011, but already in 2016, Walid managed to reach 113m in FIM at the Nirvana Oceanquest Competition (San Andrés, Colombia). Then, at Vertical Blue 2017, Walid improved his official personal best record in FIM to 116m/381ft. Since then, the freediver has struggled hard to improve his official personal best record, with multiple attempts to dive to 117m/384ft, 118m/387ft, and 122m/400ft, and even shallower depths at official competitions were unsuccessful. Therefore, I am so glad to see Walid's success now. This bronze medal in FIM became his second one in this Championship. A day earlier, Walid also earned silver for his 116m dive in CWT. Moreover, at the beginning of this year, Walid set a new AIDA World Record in the non-competitive discipline VWT, diving with a sled to an impressive 150m/492ft depth.

To sum everything up, the male pedestal is as follows:
1st place - Alexey Molchanov of Russia - 121m/397ft
2nd place - Petar Klovar of Croatia - 119m/390ft
3rd place - Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia - 113m/371ft

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

In the new Masters category, there were also several great achievements. In particular, Japec Jacopin of Slovenia became the CMAS World Champion in the over 70 category by diving to an impressive 78m/256ft of depth. In the overall ranking of this World Championship, his dive would rank 9th overall among athletes from 30 countries.

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

In the 50+ category, the winners are:
1st place and new CMAS World Record - Jesper Stechmann of Denmark (90m/295ft)
2nd place and new CMAS World Record - Petr Vala of the Czech Republic (78m/256ft)
3rd place and new CMAS World Record - Sauveur Lococo of France (70m/230ft)

Pete Botman of the Netherlands also successfully dived to 90m/295ft in the 50+ category, however he dropped the tag at the surface and put his face in the water to find it. According to CMAS rules, an athlete must keep their airways above the water during the entire surface protocol. Therefore, Pete’s dive was unfortunately disqualified. I wish Pete more luck next time!

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

This is the all news we have of the second competition day of the World Championship. October 7 is the official rest day for athletes and the competition will resume on October 8, which will be the day for CNF. Stay tuned!

Day 3 of competition (October 8)

Starting protocols for CNF

October 8, 2021, in Kaş, Turkey, will be a thrilling day for the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship! The athletes will compete in the most challenging discipline of freediving – CNF.

The most exciting part is that we have Alessia Zecchini back in the competition. Alessia has recovered after her unfortunate dive on the first day in CWT. After two days of obligatory rest, she seems to be more determined, but also more cautious. Of course, the deepest announcement of the day among the women still belongs to Alessia, who will be diving to an impressive 69m/226ft. However, the bid is 5m/16ft less than her current CMAS World Record in CNF and her official personal best of 74m/243ft, set in Vertical Blue 2021. I have no doubts that the depth is absolutely reachable with Alessia’s strength. But the athlete still needs some luck so that all the tiny details coincide in a successful dive. Good luck, Alessia! Freedivers everywhere are rooting for you!

The second announcement of 67m/220ft predictably belongs to Nataliia Zharkova. In a recent competition, Kaş Baska, which was held in Kaş before the World Championship, Nataliia successfully dived to 70m/230ft. It seems that Nataliia also decided to play it safe with a conservative depth.

Then follows two women with the same announced depth of 63m/207ft, which leaves them competing for the bronze medal. They are Fatima Korok of Hungary and Mirela Kardašević of Croatia. The most intriguing piece of information is that neither of the athletes have have dived this depth in official competition so far. During training sessions, Fatima blacked out after diving to 64m/203ft, and Mirela has not managed to reach this depth in previous competitions nor official training sessions before the World Championship. I am anxious for their performances and rooting for them!

Among the men, the plot should be even more unpredictable and engaging! Alexey Molchanov of Russia and Petar Klovar of Croatia announced the same depth - 92m/302ft! In theory, both athletes are strong enough to dive this depth. In reality, Alexey has not performed a CNF dive to this depth for a long time (his official personal best in CNF is 96m/315ft), while Petar has never dived to such a depth during official competition at all. In addition, they both blacked out several days ago in their attempt to reach 92m/302ft and 95m/312ft depth, respectively, at the 27th AIDA World Championship in Limassol, Cyprus. Will they succeed this time? Let’s hope for the best! But because of anxiety, I’ll definitely be holding my own breath during their attempts!

Photo by Alexander Akivis

The next bid of 85m/279ft belongs to Abdelatif Alouach of France. If he succeeds, it will be new a official personal best for Abdel, as he has never dived to this depth during an official competition. Two days ago, Abdel did not manage to complete his 120m/394ft performance in FIM and was forced to turn at 10m/33ft. I hope that today, everything will be as it should be. Good luck, Abdel!

In addition, other hopefuls for medals are Samo Jeranko of Slovenia, Vitmor Maričić of Croatia, and Guillaume Bourdila of France. All of them announced 82m/269ft. Samo and Vitomir are experienced depth freedivers, and Guillaume, being a world champion in pool, is participating in a depth World Championship for the first time. This fact is why I am even more curious to see if he manages to perform the same level at depth as he does in pool.

Let’s support the athletes and cheer them on online! The live broadcast starts at 9 a.m. Kaş local time (UTC+3) on the TSSF YouTube channel:

The Top Times of the deepest athletes are as follows:
10:02 a.m. – Samo Jeranko - 82m/269ft
10:07 a.m. - Alessia Zecchini - 69m/226ft
10:14 a.m. – Petar Klovar - 92m/302ft
10:19 a.m. - Guillaume Bourdila - 82m/269ft
10:26 a.m. – Abdelatif Alouach – 85m/279ft
10:31 a.m. - Alexey Molchanov - 92m/302ft
10:43 a.m. - Vitmoir Maričić - 82m/269ft
10:50 a.m. – Nataliia Zharkova – 67m/220ft
11:00 a.m. – Mirela Kardašević – 63m/207ft
11:35 a.m. - Fatima Korok - 63m/207ft

May the force be with you all!

Official results in CNF

October 8, 2021, at the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship was a spectacular day! It was truly historical and exciting, and viewers of the broadcast experienced the full range of emotions: from absolute happiness at a new world record to fear and sadness toward failed dives.

For the women, the day was quite calm and carried out masterfully. All four women with the deepest announcements performed very neat dives and showed the surface protocol with charming smiles. It was obvious that all the athletes announced conservative depths with plenty of reserve, although for two of them, their depths became new official personal bests and new CMAS National Records in CNF. The names of the superwomen are as follows:

1st place - Alessia Zecchini - 69m/226ft
2nd place - Nataliia Zharkova - 67m/220ft
3rd place and CMAS National Record of Croatia and Hungary - Mirela Kardašević and Fatima Korok - 63m/207ft

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

In total, among the women, only 2 multicolored cards were given: one red and one yellow, and both were for early turns. There were no blackouts among the women at all. Additionally, they managed to set 8 new national records for their countries.

Very impressive performances among the ladies in CNF! Congratulations to all the winners and new National Record Holders! You nailed it, girls, congratulations!

Unlike the women, the competition among the men was quite ferocious. In the savage race for the gold medal, Petar Klovar overcame Alexey Molchanov for the first time. Moreover, Petar set a new CMAS World Record in CNF to 92m/302ft, diving 1m/3ft deeper than the previous CMAS World Record in this discipline made by Alexey Molchanov at Vertical Blue 2021. Congratulations, Petar! Freedivers, remember this day and this man. I hope we will see more great achievements by Petar next season! You are awesome, keep it up, Petar!

As you probably have already guessed, Alexey Molchanov did not manage to complete his dive to 92m/302ft of depth. In contrast to Petar, who worked intensively throughout the whole dive, Alexey dived in a very relaxed manner, and slowly added his dolphin kick technique. However, it seems that this depth in cooler waters was just too deep for him. Several meters before the surface, Alexey blacked out, which means that he will not be able to continue competing in this Championship. It was truly the saddest moment of this World Championship for me. But Alexey seemed fine in the end, because as soon as he became conscious, he immediately went back to smiling and showing everyone around him that they had no need to worry. I would guess that for Alexey, the incident was not such a major setback since, after a little more training, he will surely reach that depth. After all, he finally has a great competitor and more motivation to train.

Second place and the silver medal were taken by Abdelatif Alouach of France. He performed a confident dive to 85m/279ft and could not help but cry out of happiness after receiving a white card. His dive also became a new CMAS National Record for France.

For the bronze medal, three athletes were supposed to compete against one another - Samo Jeranko of Slovenia, Vitomir Maričić of Croatia, and Guillaume Bourdila of France.

Samo dived first, and his dive to 82m/279ft was very clean with flawless technique, which is why the white card and bronze medal went directly into his pocket. The next performance was Guillaume’s. The French athlete turned early at 76m/249ft of depth and surfaced using the line to save his strength. Unfortunately, Vitomir also turned early during his dive, but his turn was just 3m/10ft above the bottom plate. Vitomir also started ascending using the line, but later signaled the safety to assist him back to the surface. Vitomir surfaced fully in control, but it seems he came back with an ear injury. I hope he will get well soon!

In total, six red cards were given to the men of the competition, and three of them were for blackouts. Still, six other men also managed to set new CMAS National Records for their countries.

To sum it all up, the male pedestal is as follows:
1st place and new World Record - Petar Klovar - 92m/302ft
2nd place and new National Record of France - Abdelatif Alouach - 85m/279ft
3rd place - Samo Jeranko - 82m/269ft

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Congratulations to the men! It was epic and so beautiful to watch!

In the Masters category, the dives all went steadily and without incident among the men. All four participants performed their dives with white cards and set four new CMAS World Records, with each athlete improving the previous athlete’s record by several meters. The final record was set by Jens Stoetzner of Germany. He successfully dived to 65m/213ft and received the gold medal. Congratulations!

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

That’s all the news for today, get ready for the last competition day in CWTB!

Day 4 of competition (October 9)

Starting protocols for CWTB

Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the final day of the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship?

On October 9, 2021, the final set of medals will be battled over in the CWTB discipline, and it seems that almost all the athletes have decided to take part. In the starting protocols, we see almost twice the amount of announcements compared to that of the previous day.

Among the women, the deepest announcement of 103m/338ft predictably belongs to the current world record hold in the CWTB discipline, Alenka Artnik of Slovenia. However, her announced dive is 3m/10ft shallower than the record she set in the Kaş Baska competition several days before the start of the World Championship. The second deepest announcement of 98m/322ft is from Alessia Zecchini of Italy. The bid is 7m/23ft less than Alessia's personal best in the discipline; perhaps she is counting on a silver medal or a possible mistake by Alenka.

Two athletes will fight for third place. Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine and Marianna Gillespie of France are simultaneously aiming for 97m/318ft of depth. If they both succeed, their performances will become new personal bests for them and new CMAS National Records for their countries. I hope Natalia and Marianna will perfectly manage their dives!

The current men’s World Record Holder Alexey Molchanov of Russia, who dived with bifins to a depth of 118m/387ft at Vertical Blue 2021, is not allowed to perform since he suffered an underwater blackout during is CNF dive. Therefore, the other main leaders in CWTB decided against making extreme announcements and attempts at new world records.

Two French athletes and former world record holders in CWT, Abdelatif Alouach and Arnaud Jerald, announced 116m/381ft, which is not as deep as I expected. Arnaud officially dived to 117m/384ft with bifins only in the favorable conditions of Vertical Blue 2021. It is difficult to predict if the athlete can manage the same depth in the conditions of the Mediterranean Sea, but I am hoping for no current or waves that make Arnaud’s task even more complicated.

Speaking of Abdelatif, I should mention that the athlete has never dived to this depth or deeper depths at any official competition. His official personal best in CWTB is 115m/377ft, a depth he reached at the 8th CMAS French Apnea Outdoor Championship held in Villefranche-sur-Mer, France earlier this year. Let's hope that Abdel is not already exhausted with the competition rush (the athlete has performed in all 4 disciplines) and still has enough strength to complete his last dive at the World Championship.

It is possible that the top athletes with the deepest bids will not actually go that deep in reality, since for the victory, it will be enough for them to dive to only 112m/367ft of depth. The deepest announcements after their dives are 105m/344ft, belonging to Vincenzo Ferri of Italy, and both Davide Carrera of Italy and Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia will aim for a depth of 103m/338ft.

Let’s support the athletes and cheer them on online! The live broadcast starts at 9 a.m. Kaş local time (UTC+3) on the TSSF YouTube channel:

The Top Times of the deepest athletes are as follows:

10:06 a.m. – Alessia Zecchini – 98m/322ft
10:10 a.m. - Davide Carrera - 103m/338ft
10:16 a.m. - Alenka Artnik - 103m/338ft
10:20 a.m. - Arnaud Jerald - 116m/381ft
10:26 a.m. - Abdelatif Alouach - 116m/381ft
10:30 a.m. - Vincenzo Ferri - 105m/344ft
10:36 a.m. - Walid Boudhiaf - 103m/338ft
10:50 a.m. - Nataliia Zharkova - 97m/318ft
10:56 a.m. - Marianna Gillespie - 97m/318ft

Good luck to all of the athletes and stay strong! It is the final push, and then the long-anticipated rest awaits!

Official results in CWTB

The weather conditions on the final day of the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship were just as favorable as the rest of the days. Most of the athletes with the deepest bids managed to perform their dives exactly as planned, however, 24 out of 63 competitors received multicolored cards for early turns, pulls, and blackouts (including one underwater blackout from a Korean female athlete, Jung A Kim).

Still, the two women with the deepest announcements, Alenka Artnik of Slovenia and Alessia Zecchini of Italy, dived smoothly to 103m/338ft and 98m/322ft, respectively. The depths were significantly less than their personal bests and their world record performances. Alenka received the gold medal for her dive, which was 3m/10ft less than the current CWTB world record she set several days before the World Championship in the Kaş Baska competition. For Alessia, her CWTB performance was 7m/23ft less than her official personal best and previous world record in this discipline. It seems that the women did not want to go head-to-head against each other and risk their chances at receiving medals. I can definitely understand their strategy!

The dives of the next two deepest women, Marianna Gillespie of France and Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine, were also successful. Together, they shared third place with their dives to 97m/318ft of depth, which became their new official personal bests and new CMAS National Records for France and Ukraine, respectively. In my opinion, it is miraculous to see how these two strong women still had the strength to not only to perform successfully on the last day of the competition season, but also to improve their own personal records.

The women’s podium for CWTB is as stands:
1st place - Alenka Artnik of Slovenia - 103m/338ft
2nd place - Alessia Zecchini of Italy - 98m/322ft
3rd place and new CMAS National Records - Marianna Gillespie of France and Nataliia Zharkova of Ukraine - 97m/318ft

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Congratulations to all the winners! Thank you, ladies, for the excitement and pleasure of witnessing your beautiful dives!

In total, there were 9 out of 26 strong women who set new CMAS National Records for their countries on the last day of the World Championship. Special congratulations for a new national record goes to Molchanovs Ambassador Olga Markina, who dived with bifins to 71m/233ft of depth and improved her previous Russian national record by 1m/3ft, which she set in 2019 in Roatán, Honduras. During this year’s AIDA and CMAS world championship events, Olga struggled with equalization issues and worried that she could not find a solution. I am very glad that luck smiled upon Olga on the last day of the World Championship. Cheers to Olga!

In the absence of the current CWTB world record holder, Alexey Molchanov, who was not allowed to dive because of an underwater blackout during his CNF dive, the remaining men of the competition did not slow their pace and performed at their best. Two French athletes, Abdelatif Alouach and Arnaud Jerald, successfully dived with bifins to 116m/381ft, sharing first place and the title of the World Champion in CWTB. Congratulations, guys!

I would like to use this chance to compare the diving techniques of both athletes, which have both been proven to be effective at the same depth. Did you happen to notice that, although the depth was absolutely the same, the dive time of Abdel (3’53“) was almost 1 minute longer than the dive time of Arnaud (3’06”)? Arnaud dives without a neck weight and kicks rather actively with a small amplitude the entire way down and up, almost sprinting in the zone of positive buoyancy on the way down and in the zone of negative buoyancy on the way up. In addition, Arnaud seems to be completely concentrated throughout the entire dive and followed the rope with his eyes wide open.

On the contrary, Abdel, with a small weight on his neck, descended with kicks until about 45m/148ft of depth with quite a wide amplitude, and after, used freefall the rest of the way down to the bottom plate. Abdel also did not hurry on his way back to the surface. During the entire dive, Adbel was totally relaxed and even closed his eyes.

It seems that the final choice of diving technique and the right mix of sprinting and relaxation depends on a freediver's resistance to hypoxia. If a freediver's resistance is as tremendous as Abdel's, then they may dive slower while using stiffer bifins to make wide and powerful kicks, not minding how much CO2 their muscles produce. However, if a freediver is sensitive to hypoxia, they must reduce their dive time as much as possible and avoid overloading the muscles. In this case, bifins with softer blades and a bifin technique with a smaller amplitude is more effective, while the demand to perfect technique is much higher. Make sure to choose the most appropriate diving strategy wisely!

But let’s return to the results of the competitions. Vincenzo Ferri of Italy, who aimed for a medal with a 105m/344ft bid, turned early at 77m/253ft of depth and gave two other athletes a chance to win. Davide Carrera of Italy and Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia both successfully dived to 103m/338ft, sharing third place.

To sum everything up, the male podium stands as follows:
1st place - Abdelatif Alouach and Arnaud Jerald of France - 116m/381ft
3rd place - Davide Carrera of Italy and Walid Boudhiaf of Tunisia - 103m/338ft

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Cheers to you! I hope you had a drink to your own victories at the afterparty! 

Ten men also managed to set new CMAS National Records for their countries, however, as many as 14 men received multicolored cards for different mistakes, including 2 red cards for surface blackouts. Among the unsuccessful performances, I would like to draw your attention to the dive of Andrey Matveenko of Russia. On the first competition day, Andrey performed a nice dive to 122m/400ft, but the safety team thought he needed help and took him to the surface from 10m/33ft. It was regarded by judges as an underwater blackout, and the athlete was not allowed to perform in the next day’s FIM discipline. Andrey decided to try his luck in CWTB, which he had not focused on preparing for previously. Andrey performed his dive to 100m/328ft of depth with short carbon bifins and almost made it! The athlete unfortunately blacked out at the surface. But I must admit, it was brave. I hope Andrey performes this dive again in the future with a white card, which would also be a great advertisement for our newly launched PRO Short Bifins 2!

It is also impossible not to admire the dive of Japec Jakopin of Slovenia, who at 71 years old, made a successful dive to 75m/246ft and set a new CMAS World Record in CWTB in the Masters 70+ category.

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

In the Masters 50+ category, the podium is as follows:
1st place and new CMAS World Record - Jesper Stechmann of Denmark - 92m/302ft
2nd place - Pete Botman of the Netherlands - 85m/279ft
3rd place - Jens Stoetzner of Germany - 78m/256ft

Photo by Evgeny Sychev

Give a big round of applause to all the athletes, new national and world record holders, the safety team, the judges, and the competition organizers! You did it, the 5th CMAS Freediving Outdoor World Championship is officially and successfully over! Congratulations! Let's do some recovery breaths together and appreciate this precious experience. Stay tuned!

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