CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship 2022
Asya Kleshchevnikova, Sports Columnist
Head of Customer Service & International Sales
1. Preview of the World Championship
2. Pre-competition forecast
3. CWT (3 Oct)
4. FIM (4 Oct)
4.1 New CMAS World Record in FIM by Petar Klovar
5. Rest/backup day (5 Oct)
6. CNF (6 Oct)
6.1 New CMAS World Record in CNF by Petar Klovar
7. CWTB (7 Oct)
Preview of the World Championship
On October 1, the final major freediving competition of the year - CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship 2022 - begins. The event promises to be rich with remarkable achievements and unexpected twists. Here are our reasons why.
What is the freediving World Championship?
Freediving is not yet an Olympic sport, so world championship events are the highest level of competition for freedivers. They are always held as world-record status events with judges who are qualified to register world records and provide doping control. The CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship is no exception to this rule.
Athletes will compete in the four disciplines of depth freediving: CWT (diving with a monofin), CWTB (diving with bifins), FIM (pulling down/up using the dive line), and CNF (diving without fins). Men and women will be competing on the same days.
Each athlete has one attempt in each discipline, which puts extra pressure on the athletes. If an athlete does not complete their attempted dive successfully, their next chance to redeem themselves will be next year. Therefore, athletes should be mindful of their bids and generally remain conservative. During their training preparation before championship events, athletes often reach depths 1 - 3m (3 - 10ft) deeper than they will announce during the official competition.
When is the Championship?
The Championship is held on October 1 - 7, after many local depth competitions and two big freediving events of this year, Vertical Blue 2022 and the 29th AIDA World Championship, have already taken place. Most of the athletes have had time to train and also to gain important competition experience. This means that we can expect them to perform at their full capacity.
The opening ceremony is planned for October 1, and on October 2, there will be an official training session. In the following days, the events will be held according to the schedule below:
- Oct. 3 (Monday): CWT
- Oct. 4 (Tuesday): FIM
- Oct. 5 (Wednesday): Rest day
- Oct. 6 (Thursday): CNF
- Oct. 7 (Friday): CWTB
The award ceremonies will be held at the end of each day.
Opening ceremony of the Championship in Kas, 2021; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Where is the Championship?
The Championship is located in Kaş, Turkey. The city is hosting the World Championship for the fourth time, so athletes, organizers, and freediving fans mostly know what to expect from the water and land conditions. Kaş is one of the southernmost points on the Turkish Mediterranean coast, lying at almost the same latitude as the city of Tunis. In October, we expect perfect diving conditions:
- 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)
Still, we always need to remember that in the open sea, diving conditions may completely change within an hour’s time; strong wind, waves, or currents may complicate the competition. For situations of extreme weather changes, there is always one backup day in the depth world championships schedule (in this case, the rest day on October 5 can be used as a backup).
Freediving training boat in Kaş, Turkey; photo by Evgeniy Sychev
Who is participating?
A week before the Championship, 53 athletes from 26 countries have already announced their presence at the Championship. In total, about 130 athletes from 32 countries are expected.
The deepest freediver in the world and CWT World Record Holder (131m/430ft), Alexey Molchanov of Russia, as well as other Russian and Belarusian athletes, are suspended from participating in CMAS sporting events given the incapacity of Ukrainian athletes to take part. The decision was made by the CMAS Board Of Directors due to the war in Ukraine.
Another absolute world record holder (CNF 102m/335ft) – William Trubridge of New Zealand – is also skipping the Championship. However, the other four out of six current absolute world record holders will be participating. They will be challenged by other strong athletes, whose recent official results and training session performances are getting close to (and even surpassing) the current world records.
Alexey Molchanov, William Trubridge
We – Kristina Zvaritch and Asya Kleshchevnikova – are very excited to tell you about the upcoming Championship. This week, we will also be posting our traditional pre-competition forecast by discipline to get you just as excited as we are - stay tuned!
In our traditional pre-competition forecast, we give our predictions of the most probable winners and main competitors in each discipline. This can also help you get familiar with the athletes and understand the general intrigue of the competition. When making these predictions, we look at athletes’ results from the official training sessions and previous competitions.
However, the make-up of the athletes competing in the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship 2022 is such that, in most disciplines, the winner is hardly predictable - especially among men. There are many athletes with close personal bests, which means the competition for medals will be intense.
Today, let's speak in detail about the first discipline in the Championship schedule - CWT.
The deepest man in the world with a monofin and current CWT World Record Holder Alexey Molchanov (RUS) is not allowed to compete, as well as his teammate, Andrey Matveenko (RUS), who attempted 122m (400ft) at the 2021 Championship.
Therefore, the fight for the gold medal will be between Mateusz Malina (POL) and Davide Carrera (ITA). Both athletes reached 123m (404ft) of depth in August in the ‘greenhouse’ conditions of Vertical Blue 2022. But do they have an equal chance of becoming the World Champion in CWT? At the 2021 Championship, Davide almost managed a dive to 123m in the open Mediterranean Sea, but was disqualified for a mistake in the surface protocol. Yet we also cannot predict how Mateusz will feel in the open sea since the athlete hasn't competed for a while in such conditions.
Mateusz and Davide are followed by four athletes with very similar results between them:
- Arnaud Jerald (FRA) - 115m/377ft at the AIDA Depth World Championship 2019
- Abdelatif Alouach (FRA) - 116m/381ft at the AIDA Depth World Championship 2022
- Walid Boudhiaf (TUN) - 116m at the 5th Outdoor Freediving World Championship 2021
- Christos Karelos (GRE) - 117m at the AIDA Triton Cup 2021
In addition to their very close results, the situation is also complicated by the fact that each athlete from the list above has their strong and weak points. For example, since the start of his freediving career 10 years ago, Arnaud has been focused on diving with bifins. On August 9 at Vertical Blue 2022, Arnaud eventually set an absolute world record in CWTB according to AIDA rules, diving to a depth of 120m (394ft). After that, Arnaud announced that he is switching his focus to the monofin discipline. So, on the one hand, Arnaud is a very experienced athlete and the current CWTB World Record holder. On the other - Arnaud has had only two months to train in a new discipline.
Arnaud’s teammate, Abdelatif, has a similar story. Being a spearfisher, Abdel has preferred bifins to the monofin even in the CWT discipline, which has not prevented him from winning medals and titles at World Championships since 2019. At the AIDA Depth World Championship 2022, Abdel performed a CWT dive with a monofin for the first time and successfully managed to dive just as deep as with bifins.
Walid, after a successful CWT dive to 116m (381ft) of depth at the 5th Outdoor Freediving World Championship 2021, tried to improve his result by 1m (3ft) this year at AIDA Depth World Championship 2022. However, the monofin Walid was using at the time seemed to hinder him toward the end of his dive. At 30m (98ft) below the surface, Walid lost consciousness and was brought back to the surface by the safeties.
Christos, on the contrary, has already advanced to 117m (384ft) of depth in 2021 at the AIDA Triton Cup, a small local competition. However, at the World Championship in 2021, Christos managed only 112m (367ft) of depth. Those two World Championships in 2021 were the first ones in Christos’ freediving career; therefore, more conservative announcements were understandable. Still, we believe that the young athlete has great potential to surprise us. During training sessions, Christos even reached 120m (394ft) of depth.
These are the favorites among the men. Who would you place your bets on? Do you dare predict the top three? Let us know in the comments.
Predicting the winners in CWT among women seems to be an easier task. The indisputable world leader in the discipline is Alenka Artnik (SVN), who has set the current world record by diving with a monofin to an unthinkable 122m (400ft) of depth at Vertical Blue 2021. At Vertical Blue 2022, however, Alenka wasn't in her best state. After a minor setback with her attempt to dive to 123m (404ft), Alenka was content with a successful 111m (364ft) dive, which brought her the gold medal.
Alenka’s main rival is Alessia Zecchini (ITA). Alessia is a former World Record Holder in CWT - she updated her personal best with a monofin a year ago, diving to 117m (384ft) of depth at Vertical Blue 2022.
It might be safe to say that, right now, Alessia and Alenka are in almost the same shape and state of mind, and both are capable of winning the World Champion title. Who will you be rooting for?
Besides Alessia and Alenka, only two women who have been to depths greater than 100m (328ft) have announced their presence at the Championship:
- Marianna Gillespeia (FRA) - 102m/335ft at the AIDA Depth World Championship 2022
- Alice Modolo (FRA) - 101m/331ft at Vertical Blue 2022
For Marianna and Alice, a new CMAS National Record is at stake.
What are your predictions among the women?
Among the men, Mateusz Malina (POL) looks like the strongest athlete in the discipline and the main competitor for the gold medal. On August 11 at Vertical Blue 2022 (Dean’s Blue Hole, Bahamas), Mateusz dived to 127m (417ft) of depth and set a new FIM World Record - his first world record in depth. While writing about that historic dive in a previous Instagram post, the athlete mentioned that equalization is the main hindering factor for him:
“I still feel like a beginner in it and I don’t have a freedom which would allow me to be 100% confident I can always reach desired depth.”
There is a thermocline in the Mediterranean Sea at a depth of about 30m (98ft). When the water temperature changes with depth, there can be a strong urge to swallow and lose the air athletes keep in their mouths for equalization. This means that equalization in colder water with a thermocline is a more complicated task than in the warm and calm waters of Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas. So the question remains - is Mateusz ready to repeat his achievement in the conditions of the World Championship and the cool Mediterranean Sea?
We believe that Mateusz will at least try to do that and maybe even improve his previous result. If not, he risks losing his place at the top and his current world record in FIM. Mateusz's nearest rival, Petar Klovar (CRO), has an official personal best of 119m (390ft), which he performed at the 2021 Championship. This year, the athlete arrived in Kaş more than two weeks before the Championship and already reached depths close to the current world record in FIM during pre-competition training sessions in the Mediterranean Sea.
Walid Boudhiaf (TUN) and Abdelatif Alouach (FRA) have shallower official personal best results:
- Walid dived to 116m (381ft) of depth at the AIDA Depth World Championship 2022
- Abdel reached 111m (364ft) of depth at AIDA Depth World Championship 2019
However, if the leading athletes will be too engrossed in beating each other and accidentally exceed their limits, then Walid and Abdel can easily take Mateusz's and Petar's places on the podium. At the 2021 Championship, Walid won the bronze medal diving to 113m (371ft) of depth, whereas Abdel failed his attempt to dive to 120m (394ft) when he turned back at just 10m (33ft). Therefore, we wouldn't dare estimate which of the athletes is in better shape. Who would you bet on?
Among the women, the strongest athlete is Alessia Zecchini (ITA). Alessia is a current CMAS and AIDA World Record holder in the discipline, and at Vertical Blue 2021, she dived a depth of 101m (331ft).
However, at Vertical Blue 2022, Fatima Korok (HUN) came close to Alessia's achievement. At Dean's Blue Hole, Fatima performed a FIM dive to a depth of 100m (328ft), which could have become the new AIDA World Record if she only had managed to find a tag at the bottom plate. Even though Fatima didn't set the world record then, the dive showed that she is capable of doing so, and perhaps she will attempt it again in Kaş.
Alessia and Fatima are followed by Enchante Gallardo (USA) and Şahika Ercümen (TUR), who fall more than 10m (33ft) behind the leaders. Both athletes reached the depth of 90m (295ft) at the AIDA Depth World Championship, which took place in Roatán in August. Will Enchante or Şahika attempt to improve their results in more demanding conditions to win a medal? We’ll know soon!
In the absence of the current world record holder in CNF, William Trubridge (AUS), who dived 102m (335ft) of depth in 2016 at an individual world record attempt, and his nearest competitor, Alexey Molchanov (RUS), whose best personal result is 96m (315ft), Petar Klovar (COR) is the man of the hour in CNF with the biggest chance at winning the gold medal. He may even set a new CMAS World Record in this discipline. At the 2021 Championship, Petar dived a depth of 92m (302ft) and set the current CMAS World Record in CNF. Let's hope Petar is preparing another spectacular dive this year.
Petar is followed very closely by Mateusz Malina (POL). Mateusz's official personal best in CNF is 90m (295ft) of depth, which occurred at Vertical Blue 2022. Is Mateusz ready to dive deeper without fins?
Abdelatif Alouach (FR) and Vitomir Maričić (CRO) will compete for second and third place. The athletes have very close personal best results, both of which were reached in similar conditions. Abdel dived to 85m (279ft) of depth in Kaş at the 2021 Championship. Meanwhile, Vitomir reached 84m (276ft) this year at the Ocean Rijeka club competition in the Adriatic Sea.
Among women, the competition may be even stronger. There are 6 athletes who are contending for a place at the podium. We’ll list them below and comment on their personal bests and most recent results.
- Alessia Zecchini (ITA). Alessia is the current World Record Holder in CNF. At Vertical Blue 2021, she dived to 74m (243ft) of depth according to CMAS rules.
- Mirela Kardašević (CRO). Judging by Mirela’s announcement of 75m (246ft) of depth at the Kaş Baska Freediving World Cup, she is currently Alessia’s main rival and proved herself ambitious enough to attempt a new World Record in the discipline. However, Mirela didn't manage to complete that particular dive and turned back at a depth of 60m (197ft).
- Katyrina Sadurska (UKR). Katerina made another promising announcement of 71m (233ft) of depth at the Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup. Unfortunately, she got sick and had to cancel her dive. Hopefully, the athlete will recover by the Championship and perform at full capacity. Katerina’s current official personal best in CNF is 67m (220ft) of depth, reached in Sharm el-Sheikh at AIDA Freediving World Cup 2022.
- Amber Bourke (AUS). Amber successfully dived to 65m (213ft) at the Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup. However, this depth isn’t her limit. At the Caribbean Cup 2017, Amber dived to 68m (223ft), which makes her a serious competitor for a medal.
- Fatima Korok (HUN). Fatima’s official personal best so far is only 62m (203ft), which she reached at Vertical Blue 2022. At her next competition - the AIDA Depth Freediving World Championship 2022 - Fatima attempted 67m (220ft) of depth but blacked out several meters before the surface. However, prior to that, Fatima shared on her Instagram that she dived successfully to 70m (230ft) during her training sessions, proving herself to be a real contender for a spot on the podium.
- Marine Simonis (BEL). Marine is a new athlete from Belgium. She showed a strong result of 61m (200ft) at Vertical Blue 2022. Marine has an impeccable diving technique and, being a beginner in freediving, she may surprise us with big progress to deeper depths. Will Marine be lucky enough to get a medal this year?
With such a small difference in results between equally strong athletes, the race for medals should be very interesting. Make sure not to miss out on the third competition day on October 5.
Among the men, the two strongest athletes are Arnaud Jerald (FRA) and Abdelatif Alouach (FRA). Arnaud is the current absolute world record holder in the discipline. At Vertical Blue 2022, he dived with the Molchanovs Competition Bifins 2x Carbon at a depth of 120m (394ft) according to AIDA rules. Abdel’s personal best result in CWTB is 116m (381ft) of depth, which he reached at the 2021 Championship. In fact, at last year’s 2021 Championship, the athletes both won gold medals for their dives to 116m. They both are very strong and experienced athletes, so we almost sure that they will again share the same place on the podium if announcing the same depth or take home the gold and silver medals if announcing different depths.
The main competitor of the French athletes is Mateusz Malina (POL). Mateusz is new to CWTB, and it would be very hard to predict his results if hadn’t already participated in the Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup, which took place a few days ago on September 29 - 30. At the competition, Mateusz confidently dived to a depth of 113m (371ft). This means that he is a strong contender for the bronze medal.
If one of the top three makes a mistake, luck may smile on the following athletes that dive deeper than 100m (328ft) with bifins:
- Pepe Salcedo (MEX) - official personal best of 105m (344ft) of depth reached at Vertical Blue 2022.
- Walid Boudhiaf (TUN), Davide Carrera (ITA), and Christos Karelos (GRC) - performed successfully at the 2021 Championship with dives to 103m (338ft), 103m, and 102m (335ft), respectively.
We are looking forward to seeing how this company of strong men will compete this year. Do you think that the athletes will improve their official personal bests and go even deeper, challenging the athletes from the top three?
In 2021, the women improved their results in CWTB by 11m (36ft). After Vertical Blue 2021, the CMAS World Record set by Alice Modolo (FRA) stood at 95m (312ft). Then, Alessia Zecchini (ITA) slipped into bifins for the first time at an official competition (Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup 2021) and improved the world record by 10m (33ft), setting a new CMAS World Record to 105m (344ft). Furthermore, on the next day of that same competition in Kaş, Alenka Artnik (SVN), dived to 106m (348ft) with bifins.
It seems that in 2022, the women are determined to go even deeper. We know that Alenka has been training in Kaş to dive with bifins at the Championship but we couldn’t find information on the depths she managed to reach. Meanwhile, Alessia attempted a dive to 108m (354ft) at the Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup 2022 but unfortunately blacked out underwater. So far this year, the world record in CWTB still belongs to Alenka with 106m (348ft) of depth. It is the hope that these two incredible women may both announce new world records in CWTB on the last day of the Championship.
However, there is a risk that they both may be too tired by the end of the Championship too anounce deep depths, or exceed their personal limits while completing their dives. In that case, the AIDA former and current world record holders in CWTB will get the chance to win the World Champion title and the gold medal in CWTB. These athletes are:
- Alice Modolo (FRA) - set an AIDA World Record of 96m (315ft) at Vertical Blue 2022
- Marianna Gillespie - current AIDA World Record Holder with 97m (318ft) at the AIDA Depth World Championship 2022
We have now finished commenting on all four disciplines the athletes will be competing in at this year’s World Championship and are more than ready to watch the competition itself. If we had to sum up the entire pre-competition forecast in one sentence, it would definitely be: the strongest freedivers in the world are coming to the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship 2022 for new records, and it is going to be epic. Make sure you don't miss it!
Each day of the Championship, there will be an online broadcast that includes commentary and will feature the entire dives of the athletes with the underwater drone system, Diveye. We’ll share the main news of each day with you and update you on each new world record as soon as it’s set. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned! The first competition day is October 3.
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CWT (October 3)
After a colorful opening ceremony in the center of Kaş at 7 p.m., the Championship officially began. 130 athletes from 40 countries confirmed their presence at the Championship. For many countries, such as Afghanistan, Iran, Palestine, Peru, and Sierra Leone, a national team was sent to the Championship for the first time.
On the first competition day of the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship, 98 athletes performed in the CWT discipline wearing monofins or bifins.
The freediving conditions in Kaş were impeccable for an entire week before the Championship: a calm sea and warm weather on land without a big difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. However, the day before the Championship, the wind became so fierce that it changed the position of the competition ship. Organizers needed time to fix the positioning, thereby delaying the competition by one hour.
Because of the large number of athletes, organizers prepared three dive lines. Nevertheless, the day was long and emotional, with the first performance starting at 9:30 a.m. and the last completed at 4:30 p.m.
The first piece of news for freediving fans was that Mirela Kardasevic (HRV) and Alejandro Llinas (USA) were commentating on the broadcast.
Both athletes are not participating in the Championship this year. Mirela performed at a local competition before the Championship - the Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup - and set a new absolute World Record in the most complicated discipline of freediving - CNF. She dived at a depth of 75m (246ft) without fins according to CMAS rules, improving the previous world's deepest performance of Alessia Zecchini by 1m (3ft). Additionally, Alejandro fell from his scooter just two days before the Championship and broke his leg. We are thankful they still participated by devoting their time to the broadcast.
News from dive lines was even more dramatic. The deepest announcement of the day - 126m (413ft) - belonged to Abdelatif Alouach (FRA). Abdel is well-known as a former World Record Holder in CWTB. At the AIDA Depth World Championship in Roatán, we saw Abdel performing in a monofin for the first time, finishing an easy dive to 116m (381ft) and winning a gold medal. This time, however, Abdel reached 126m of depth, grabbed the tag, and turned back in his signature slow and relaxed manner. But under the influence of narcosis, Abdel got disorientated and began circling the dive line with hardly any upward movement, making his dive even longer. Abdel miraculously reached the first safeties at a depth of 40m (131ft), asked for help, and then blacked out. Safeties brought the unconscious Abdel to the surface, and it took them several minutes to successfully "wake up" the athlete. Unfortunately, this means that, at least for the next competition day, Abdel is out of the race due to disqualification.
A similar thing happened to Walid Boudhiaf (TUN). Walid announced 116m (381ft) of depth (just 1m/3ft less than he announced at the AIDA Depth World Championship in Roatán), aiming for the bronze medal. However, similar to the situation in Roatán, Walid stopped managing to kick efficiently at one point and blacked out several meters before the surface. For his underwater blackout, Walid was disqualified. During the after-dive interview, Walid said he experienced strong narcosis, which affected his swimming technique.
Vincenzo Ferri (ITA), who dived to a depth of 113m (371ft), and Daniel Koval (USA), with an announcement of 110m (361ft), were also disqualified due to underwater blackouts.
According to CMAS rules, athletes cannot compete on the following day after experiencing an underwater blackout; the athlete must be examined and have approval from the doctor to continue the competition. This seems to be the most painful for Abdel and Walid since all the athletes will compete in FIM on the next day - the discipline that Abdel and Walid are among the main competitors for medals.
We wish all of the athletes a fast recovery and a successful return to the race.
The winners among the men and a new Continental Record
As a result, the top three men in CWT are as follows:
- Arnaud Jerald (FRA) - 123m (404ft) - Gold medal
- Davide Carrera (ITA) - 121m (397ft) - Silver medal
- Antonio Mogavero (ITA) - 113m (371ft) - Bronze medal
Davide Carrera, Arnaud Jerald, Antonio Mogavero; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Congratulations to all the winners!
Our special congratulations go to the World Champion in CWT, Arnaud Jerald. As we mentioned before, for almost 10 years, Arnaud dedicated himself to the CWTB discipline. After setting an absolute World Record in CWTB to 120m (394ft) at Vertical Blue 2022, Arnaud switched his attention to diving with a monofin. Arnaud faced the tricky task of improving his monofin technique and being ready for the Championship in less than two months. As a cyclist, Arnaud has strong legs, but not very flexible and stretched feet. To help Arnaud with his flexibility, we produced our new PRO Monofin 4 Carbon with 30° foot pocket angle to compensate for decreased flexibility. And it worked! Arnaud performed a fast and confident dive to 123m (404ft) of depth with a beautiful technique, proving himself to be a very determined and successful athlete.
Arnaud Jerald; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Alexey Molchanov (RUS) has been the CWT World Record Holder for 10 years (with the world's current deepest result of 131m/430ft) and set all of his CWT world records with Molchanovs monofins. Alexey is not allowed to participate in this year's Championship; however, Arnaud's impeccable dive proved that Molchanovs monofins are still the deepest monofins in the world. Congratulations, Champion!
We also would like to draw your attention to the performance of Tory George (USA), who dived to a depth of 109m (358ft) and set a new CMAS Continental Record of North America in CWT. Tory’s result has also become the fourth deepest dive of the day. Congratulations, Tory!
The winners among the women and a new Continental Record
Unlike the men, the women of the Championship got through the entire day without a single blackout. These women received 12 yellow cards in total for early turns and 1 red card for pulling on the dive line.
The winners are as follows:
- Alenka Artnik (SVN) - 116m (381ft) - Gold medal
- Alessia Zecchini (ITA) - 109m (358ft) - Silver medal
- Alice Modolo (FRA) - 93m (305ft) - Bronze medal
Alessia Zecchini, Alenka Artnik, Alice Modolo; photo by Evgeny Sychev
As predicted, Alenka and Alessia, who are the current and former World Record Holders and seemingly strongest competitive athletes, became the Champion and Vice-Champion. The only question we had was how deep they were aiming to go. Both women made very conservative bids and easily managed their dives.
For third place in CWT, we thought that a battle might be possible between two French athletes - Alice Modolo and Marianna Gillespie (FRA). Marianna had announced a 100m (328ft) dive, but fell ill and did not compete today. Of course, Alice didn’t miss out on her chance to win a medal!
Congratulations to all the winners!
Additionally, if you followed our Vertical Blue 2022 report, you may remember Talya Davidoff (ZAF) setting several South African National Records and Continental Records of Africa according to AIDA rules. Well, the athlete definitely didn’t stop there. Today, Talya improved her previous official personal best in CWT by 1m (3ft), diving to a depth of 77m (253ft) today and set a new CMAS Continental Record of Africa in CWT. Congratulations, Talya!
New World Records and results in the Masters category
In addition, CMAS arranged the competition to include masters-level freedivers for the second time. In this category, freedivers are divided into several sub-categories according to their age (from 50 - 70 years old). In this category, athletes have set four world records:
- Birgül Erken (TUR) - 60m (197ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Women’s 50 - 54 category
- Jesper Stechmann (DNK) - 98m (322ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 50 - 54 category
- Pete Botman (NLD) - 100m (328ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 55 - 59 category
- Karsten Mohr (DEU) - 70m (230ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 60 - 64 category
Special congratulations go to Pete Botman, who had unsuccessfully attempted to set the World Record last year. In 2021, Pete blacked out his attempt to 95m (312ft). This year, Pete not only set the new World Record, but he also did so at an even deeper depth than last year’s attempt - 100m (328ft). Great job, Pete!
David Mellor, Pete Botman, Quinn Riordan; photo by Evgeny Sychev
This is all our news of the first competition day at this year’s Championship! Stay tuned for the second day on October 4 when athletes will compete in FIM disciplines. Spoiler alert: new world records are possible in the senior category. Make sure not to miss it!
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New CMAS World Record in FIM by Petar Klovar
On October 4, the second competition day of the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship, Petar Klovar (CRO) became the deepest man in the world!
Pater set a new absolute World Record in FIM according to CMAS rules.
The depth of dive: 132m (433ft)
Dive time: 4 min 01 sec
All on one breath.
To visualize it better, imagine a 40-story building, only not ascending to the sky, but rather descending below sea level. At such a depth, a human experiences the pressure of about 15 atmospheres.
Petar Klovar; photo by Evegeny Sychev
Less than 2 months ago, Mateusz Malina (POL) set the previous absolute World Record in FIM with his dive to 127m (417ft) of depth at Vertical Blue 2022, set according to AIDA rules. With his incredible dive, Petar improved the previous absolute World Record in FIM by an astonishing 5m (16ft) in one go. However, that’s not the only thing that makes Petar’s achievement so special.
By performing this 132m (433ft) dive, Petar has now successfully dived deeper than any other freediver has at an official competition - that includes all the disciplines of competitive freediving. He even dived 1m (3ft) deeper than the legendary Alexey Molchanov (RUS) dived with his monofin in CWT.
For freediving fans who have only been watching freediving competitions within the last 10 years, this may seem very strange since, in this day and age, CWT (diving with a monofin) is known as the deepest discipline among the competitive disciplines. It was only in the 2000s that almost all athletes (including top freedivers) switched to using a monofin and began working on their monofin technique. The results in CWT began to grow deeper and eventually surpassed FIM performances.
The monofin, which is used for CWT discipline, gives athletes extra speed and power. This reduces athletes’ dive times in comparison with FIM dive times. However, a monofin is very demanding on an athlete's diving technique. Without special and dedicated training in monofin technique, a monofin becomes useless, which makes FIM easier to train. Still, the hindering factor in FIM eventually becomes the extended dive time and an athlete’s resistance to hypoxia. Since the dive time cannot be influenced by much, the only other variable is an athlete’s resistance to hypoxia, and Petar has seemingly tremendous resistance to it.
Petar is a rather new athlete in freediving, beginning his training with the CNF and FIM disciplines. The base of his success is incredible physical strength and, as we are now very aware of, his incredible resistance to hypoxia. If Petar can dive this deep in FIM, then after several years of training with a monofin, he should be able to go much deeper in CWT. And so, just as FIM athletes of old discovered the monofin and pushed the barriers of depth even further, so will Petar.
Petar Klovar; photo by Evgeny Sychev
We are in awe. Congratulations, Petar - we hope you continue your training so we can see even more breathtaking achievements!
FIM (October 4)
The second competition day of the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship has just solidified its place in competitive freediving history. For the first time in 20 years, the FIM world record has surpassed the CWT record. Read below for the main achievements and unexpected outcomes of the day.
The deepest man on the Earth and new Vice-Champions
The main intrigue of the day was the dive of Petar Klovar (CRO). Petar made a 132m (433ft) bid which was:
- 1m (3ft) deeper than any depth reached at a freediving competition
- 5m (16ft) deeper than the previous world record in FIM
Until today, the deepest dive in competitive freediving was 131m (430ft), a depth reached by Alexey Molchanov (RUS) wearing a monofin at Vertical Blue 2021 and set according to CMAS rules. The deepest FIM dive of 127m (417ft) was performed by Mateusz Malina (POL) at Vertical Blue 2022 according to AIDA rules.
Alexey has about 35 years of experience in freediving. He has been swimming and diving for almost his entire life, while Mateusz started freediving in 2008, giving him about 14 years of experience in the sport. Therefore, it’s quite hard to believe that an athlete who has only been training freediving for five years could dive much deeper than more experienced athletes.
But believe it or not, Petar performed the dive in a strong and confident manner, and most importantly - it was successful! Human limits have now been pushed 1m (3ft) further, and Petar has earned the name of the deepest man in the world with a new absolute World Record in FIM (performed under CMAS rules) and a gold medal around his neck. Congratulations, Petar; it was surreal to witness! We hope you will continue setting these unbelievable new records.
Between first and second place, there is a 22m (72ft) gap. Guillaume Bourdila (FRA) and Petar’s coach Vitomir Maričić (CRO) dived together to a depth of 110m (361ft) and became Vice-Champions. Congratulations, Guillaume and Vitomir - we wish you luck catching up with Petar at the next Championship!
Petar Klovar, Vitomir Maričić, Guillaume Bourdila; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Former absolute World Record Holder in FIM Mateusz Malina (POL), who dived to 127m (417ft) at Vertical Blue 2022, made a conservative bid of 121m (397ft) for the Championship. If the dive had been successful, it would have brought him a silver medal and Vice-Champion status. Unfortunately, Mateusz did not manage to equalize successfully in the cool waters of the Mediterranean Sea and was forced to turn back at 112m of depth. In addition to equalization problems, it seems that Mateusz also experienced strong narcosis. On the turn, the athlete tried to find a tag on the bottom plate, most likely thinking he was close to the target depth. However, the bottom plate still was about 9m (30ft) away. So Mateusz returned to the surface without a tag and received a yellow card for an early turn, missing his chance to stand on the podium.
Fatima Korok (HUN) and Alessia Zecchini (ITA) together announced 102m (335ft) of depth, aiming to improve the current absolute World Record in FIM by 1m (3ft). The current record of 101m (331ft) was set by Alessia Zecchini at Vertical Blue 2021 according to CMAS rules.
For Fatima, the dive was her third attempt to set a world record in the FIM discipline this year. Fatima reached the target depth and grabbed the tag but lost consciousness at about 10m (33ft) beneath the surface. We hope it isn't your last world record attempt, Fatima - keep going, and you will get it one day!
A similar situation happened with Alessia. She also reached the bottom plate at 102m (335ft), grabbed the tag, and then blacked out just several meters before the surface. Afterward, the safety team gently delivered her to the buoy. We wish her and Fatima a speedy recovery on tomorrow’s rest day. Hopefully, the athletes will be allowed to continue competing in the Championship.
Winners among the women
Once Fatima and Alessia withdrew from the competition, the next in the line for the gold medal became Şahika Ercümen (TUR) and Enchante Gallardo (USA) with their announcements of 90m (295ft).
Sadly, Şahika decided not to compete today and Enchante turned early at 82m (269ft) due to equalization issues.
Eventually, Katerina Sadurska (UKR) performed a successful dive to a depth of 92m (302ft, received a white card, and became the World Champion in FIM. Katerina is a very experienced athlete - she came into freediving from synchronized swimming, where she won multiple medals at the World Aquatic and European Aquatic Championships from 2010 - 2014. In 2016, Katerina participated in the Summer Olympics in Rio and took fourth place. Meanwhile, in freediving, Katerina has set 23 national records for Ukraine and has walked to the podium several times at pool and depth Championships. And now, this year, Katerina has added a gold medal from the freediving World Championship to her collection of awards.
The silver medal went to Irena Vanova (CZE) for her dive of 83m (272ft), and Sanda Delija (CRO) wore a bronze medal for a dive to 81m (266ft) of depth.
Sanda Delija, Katerina Sadurska, Irena Vanova; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Congratulations to all the awardees!
When there are current world record holders and experienced athletes diving deeper than 90m (295ft) in the list of competitors, it can be challenging to believe in your own victory. But there is always a place for luck in freediving, which makes the sport even more interesting to watch. To try your luck, all you need to do is apply for a freediving course, start working at it, and then one day, it may be you who walks to the podium among freediving legends and world record holders.
New Continental and Masters World Records
Talya Davidoff (ZAF) and Tory George (USA), who set new CMAS Continental Records on the previous competition day, did it again. Talya dived in FIM to a depth of 68m (223ft) and set a new CMAS Continental Record of Africa, while Tory completed a confident dive to 104m (341ft) and set a new CMAS Continental Record of North America. Congratulations!
We again have four new World Records in the masters category on the second competition day. They are as follows:
- Christian Vogler (FRA) - 95m (312ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 50 - 54 category
- Pete Botman (NLD) - 96m (315ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 55 - 59 category
- Karsten Mohr (DEU) - 75m (246ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 60 - 64 category
- Christophe Dromard (FRA) - 65m (213ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 65 - 69 category
Anna Arzhanova, Tomas Uflawski, Peter Munk Truelsen, Christian Vogler, Jesper Stechmann; photo by Evgeny Sychev
A big congratulations to all the athletes!
This is all our news of the second competition day at this year’s Championship! October 5 is a day off for athletes, competition staff, and freedivers at home. We will be back with news on October 6, where athletes will compete in the CNF discipline.
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New CMAS World Record in CNF by Petar Klovar
On October 6, the third competition day of the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship, Petar Klovar (CRO) dived to 94m (308ft) without fins and set a new CMAS World Record in CNF.
Petar Klovar; photo by Daan Verhoeven
Petar’s world records
It took Petar only one day to recover from his previous world-record-breaking dive to an unimaginable depth of 132m (433ft) in the FIM discipline. In his new status as the deepest man on Earth, Petar has also successfully updated the world record in the CNF discipline.
This is the third world record in Petar’s five-year-long freediving career and his second CMAS World Record in the CNF discipline. Petar set his first world record just a year ago at the 2021 Championship when he dived 92m (302ft) of depth without fins according to CMAS rules.
Lack of diversity among CNF absolute world record-holders
Now Petar is 8m (26ft) away from the absolute world record in CNF set by William Trubridge (NZL) in 2016 during an individual World Record attempt at Dean’s Blue Hole, the Bahamas. William has been a self-perpetuating absolute world record holder in CNF since 2008 when he finally left his main competitor, Herbert Nitsch (AUS), 1m (3ft) behind by diving 84m (276ft) at Vertical Blue 2008. Then, from 2008 to 2016, William made the long journey from 84m to 102m (335ft). Since 2016, no one has managed to dive deeper without fins.
A winning training strategy
CNF is considered the most complicated discipline in freediving. In other disciplines, athletes may rely on the technological progress of fin production and go deeper thanks to more advanced fins. In CNF, athletes must rely only on the strength of their own muscles.
Petar came into freediving from swimming, and also constantly trains in the gym in addition to freediving training. This gives Petar strength and efficiency in each of his underwater movements. Watching Petar's dives, you may get the feeling that he is a machine. That sounds like a winning strategy for CNF, right?
Congratulations, Petar! We wish you luck, determination, and many sponsors on your way to an absolute CNF World Record.
CNF (October 6)
October 6 was another great day at CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship 2022. Athletes set 1 senior World Record, 4 master World Records, and 1 Continental Record for Africa. But as on any other day at the Championship, some athletes also experienced unfortunate results.
The hero of the day was again Petar Klovar (CRO), who came for a new world record just 24 hours after performing the deepest dive in the history of competitive freediving. On the second competition day, Petar dived at a depth of 132m (433ft) in the FIM discipline, and then on the fourth competition day, Petar improved his own previous CMAS World Record in CNF by 2m (7ft), diving to 94m (308ft) without fins.
Now Petar is the third human in the world after William Trubridge (NZL) and Alexey Molchanov (RUS) who has dived at a depth deeper than 90m (295ft) at official competitions. Once again: congratulations, Petar!
Petar’s main competitor at the Championship is Mateusz Malina (POL). Mateusz has about 14 years of experience in freediving and is the current absolute world record holder in all dynamic disciplines in the pool. In the depth disciplines, a hindering factor for Mateusz is equalization.
After a three-year break, Mateusz resumed participating in the depth competitions this year with the renowned Vertical Blue 2022 competition. There, in the warm waters of Dean's Blue Hole, Mateusz set his first world record in the FIM depth discipline, diving to 127m (417ft) according to AIDA rules, and performed his personal best CNF dive to 90m (295ft). For this year's Championship in the cool Mediterranean Sea, Mateusz announced a conservative depth of 87m (285ft) and managed it successfully - congratulations, Vice-Champion!
The bronze medal eventually went to Antonio Mogavero (ITA) for a successful dive to 79m (259ft). Antonio is a 25-year-old athlete who started to compete actively at freediving competitions in 2015. Previously, Antonio was mainly focused on diving with monofin and bifins, and he even won several medals at World Championship in CWT and CWTB disciplines. This is Antonio’s first medal in CNF and a new national record for Italy according to CMAS rules. Congratulations, Antonio - we hope to see you at next year's Championship!
Anna Arzhanova, Antonio Mogavero, Petar Klover, Mateusz Malina; photo by Evgeny Sychev
But in fact, it was Abdelatif Alouach (FRA) who was aiming for the bronze medal. The athlete announced 86m (282ft) of depth, reached the bottom plate, grabbed the tag, and even performed the surface protocol. Sadly, he experienced a strong loss of motor control (LMC) and his face dipped into the water, disqualifying his performance.
Another unfortunate setback faced Alessia Zecchini (ITA). Alessia is a former CNF World Record Holder. At Vertical Blue 2021, she dived to a depth of 74m (243ft) according to AIDA rules. Just several days ago, Mirela Kardašević (CRO) performed at a local competition before the Championship - the Kaş Başka Freediving World Cup - and set a new absolute World Record of 75m (246ft). But since Mirela did not manage to become a part of the Croatian national team this year, she is not performing at the 2022 Championship. Without Mirela, Alessia was the main favorite in CNF today. She made a safe bid that was 3m (10ft) less than her official personal best, and it was supposed to be an easy dive for the athlete. But sadly, Alessia lost consciousness at the surface.
This was the second instance of Alessia losing consciousness at the 2022 Championship. A the second competition day, she also blacked out in an attempt to set a new world record in FIM by diving to a depth of 102m (335ft). On her Instagram, Alessia stated that she is experiencing trouble with sleeping in Turkey, managing to sleep no more than 4 - 5 hours per day. Perhaps this is the reason for the last two setbacks. We wish Alessia a full night’s rest tonight with the hope of a quick recovery for the final competition day. We are rooting for you!
Team of synchronized swimmers on the pedestal
The rest of the women in the line for medals performed almost flawlessly. Therefore, on the women’s pedestal are the following:
- Katerina Sadurska (UKR) - 70m (230ft) - Gold medal
- Amber Bourke (AUS) - 65m (213ft) - Silver medal
- Fatima Korok (HUN) - 63m (207ft) - Bronze medal
Fatima Korok, Katerina Sadurska, Amber Bourke; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Katerina Sadurska started competing in freediving competitions in 2017, and in 2022, Katerina made significant progress in all disciplines of pool and depth freediving. In pool, she competed successfully in two pool World Championships in 2022 according to CMAS and AIDA rules. And now, Katerina has fared even better at the second depth World Championship in her career; on the second competition day, the athlete won her first World Champion title in freediving for her 92m (302ft) FIM dive. However, Katerina’s CNF dive to 70m (230ft) was not an easy one. On the surface, the athlete experienced a light LMC, but held on and managed to perform the surface protocol successfully. As a result - a well-deserved gold medal and her second World Champion title.
Ambe Bourke, on the contrary, is a very experienced athlete. She has been participating in freediving competitions for about 10 years, with an official personal best in CNF of 68m (223ft) reached at the 2017 Caribbean Cup. Therefore, there was no doubt that Amber could manage with her bid of 65m (213ft) today; the question was if her equalization would be successful, which she mentioned sometimes having trouble with on Instagram. Thankfully, everything went as planned and Amber is now a proud Vice-Champion.
Bronze medal awardee Fatima Korok was just 2m (7ft) behind Amber. Fatima deserves an extra round of applause for her sheer determination. Despite all the setbacks of this competition season (3 failed attempts at world records), Fatima remained positive and continued to perform according to schedule. We are happy to see you on the podium, Fatima - keep going!
Each of these women has their own unique story, but there is one thing in common for them all that helped them to walk to the podium today: they all are former synchronized swimmers. Of all the different types of water sports, synchronized swimming seems to be the closest one to freediving; therefore, athletes with experience in synchronized swimming seem to show good results and progress quickly. Congratulations to the international team of fabulous synchronized swimmers! :)
World records in the masters category
In the masters category, only two out of the four announced world records were set successfully. They are as follows:
- Jesper Stechmann (DNK) - 72m (236ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 50 - 54 category
- Pete Botman (NLD) - 70m (230ft) - Gold medal and World Record in the Men’s 55 - 59 category
David Mellor, Pete Botman, Jens Stoentzer; photo by Evgeny Sychev
Congratulations to all of the athletes!
This is all of our news for the penultimate competition day at this year’s Championship! Stay tuned for the last day on October 7 when athletes will compete in CWTB disciplines. Spoiler alert: 7 men are simultaneously battling for silver and bronze medals. The competition will be fierce - make sure not to miss it!
CWTB (October 7)
During the first three days of the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship, diving conditions in the Mediterranean Sea in Kaş, Turkey were perfect: warm air on the surface, warm water, a mild thermocline, and no current or waves. However, on the last day, a storm came that brought strong winds, waves, and current. Because of this, the CWTB portion of the competition was postponed several times and eventually canceled. The wind and current made the competition ship spin around, which made it unsafe for athletes to dive deep.
Nevertheless, in the evening athletes gathered in the central square of Kaş for the closing ceremony and party. On this, the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor Championship is over. We once again congratulate all the athletes, safeties, and organizers on successfully arranging such a big event. We’re already looking forward to a new season in 2023!
Dates of the CMAS indoor and outdoor championship events aren't announced yet, but AIDA has already published a preliminary plan:
- AIDA Pool World Championship will take place in Jeju, Korea in June 2023
- AIDA Depth World Championship will be back in Limassol, Cyprus in the second half of September
If you’re inspired by the record-breaking athletes at the CMAS 6th Freediving Outdoor World Championship 2022 and hoping to one day participate in the Championships yourself, it’s high time to start your training!
That’s why we’re having a special sale on guided training programs to get you diving longer, further, and deeper, just like your favorite athletes at this year’s World Championship. Base Training + is a collection of paid programs taught by top freedivers who are experts in their discipline. Take the guesswork out of your training with step-by-step instructions, guided workouts, stretches, and tips from celebrated freediving athletes. Check this page for more details!
Go Abdel… the Molchanova prize will be for you again!
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