32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship

32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship

Kaunas 2024

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


Kristina Zvaritch

1. Preview of the World Championship
2. Competition Day 1: DYNB (June 24)
3. Competition Day 2: DNF (June 25)
4. Competition Day 3: STA (June 27)
4.1 New Absolute World Record in STA
5. Competition Day 4: DYN (June 28)

Preview of the World Championship


On June 21, 2023, the 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship begins with an opening ceremony in Kaunas, Lithuania. This championship opens the 2024 season of world freediving competitions.

In anticipation of the Summer Olympic Games in Paris, we cannot avoid mentioning the fact that freediving still isn't an Olympic sport. However, in 1900, it was included in the Summer Olympic Games program, which also took place in Paris. Back then, French swimmer Charles de Vendeville won the gold by swimming 60m (197ft) underwater in 68.4 seconds. After that, underwater swimming was excluded from the program due to safety concerns.

Since then, freediving has continued to grow in popularity, and the rigorous level of safety in modern freediving competitions is now beyond question. So, we hope and believe that our dream will come true one day: freediving will be in the Olympics again, and athletes will receive recognition and government support for their efforts. Meanwhile, what we can do is support athletes in the best way possible! Molchanovs is doing this by providing news coverage for the World Championship. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our website blog to get the latest updates on your favorite freedivers and their results during the Championship.

Already did that? Then, let's dive into the event details!


Kaunas is the second largest city in Lithuania after Vilnius, located in the southeast. For the first time, a freediving world championship will take place here. The city has no obvious connection with freediving, yet we hope the international airport makes the location accessible and attractive for most athletes.

Pool conditions and competition schedule

The Championship will take place at the Zalgirio Arena Swimming Pool. The pool conditions are as follows:

  • Number of lanes: 10
  • Lane length: 50m (164ft)
  • Lane depth: 2.2m (7.2ft)
  • Water temperature: 27°C (81°F)

Athletes will compete in four disciplines according to AIDA rules (to learn more about AIDA and its competition rules and disciplines, check out International Freediving Federations You Need to Know: CMAS vs. AIDA).

The official schedule of the Championship is as follows:

  • June 24: DYNB
  • June 25: DNF
  • June 26: Official training
  • June 27: STA
  • June 28: DYN

An awards ceremony and evening closing ceremony will be held at the end of the Championship on June 28, when monetary prizes and the traditional Natalia Molchanova Memorial Award will be bestowed.

Competing athletes

According to the current information on the AIDA website, around 140 athletes from 37 countries will participate in the Championship.

However, out of all the current world record holders in pool disciplines, only Julia Kozerska (POL) is present. This can probably be explained by the fact that this Championship is closely followed by the CMAS 14th World Championship Freediving Indoor (July 4 - 10, 2024), and most athletes have chosen to participate in the latter. This means that we are likely to see new faces on the podium.

Julia is the absolute World Record Holder in DNF (213m / 699ft, 30th AIDA World Championship), and it seems that no other athlete can dive that far without fins, even among the men present at the Championship. However, in all other disciplines, Julia will be challenged by Kateryna Sadurska (UKR). Kateryna can dive very deep without fins and is the absolute World Record Holder in CNF (78m / 256ft, CMAS 7th Freediving Depth World Championship 2023). We wonder if Kateryna will try to set her first world record in the pool or if she will be content to just be on the podium.

Yasuko Ozeki and Yuriko Ichihara from Japan also have good chances of reaching the podium in the dynamic disciplines.

Among the men, Karol Karcz (POL) is the strongest athlete in dynamic disciplines. Karol is second in the AIDA Poland national ranking in DNF with 185m (606.96ft) and DYNB with 232m (761.15ft) and holds third in DYN with 250m (820.21ft). Second and third place in Poland is no small feat since the athlete placing ahead of him is absolute World Record Holder Mateusz Malina (POL), who holds current absolute world records in DNF (250m / 820.21ft) and DYN (321.43m / 1,054.41ft), along with the AIDA World Record in DYNB (290m / 951ft).

Karol will be challenged by two Swedish athletes, David Spreitz Elings (SWE) and Karlo Grbin (SWE). Both athletes have official personal bests in dynamic disciplines, which gives them a reason to count on a place on the podium.

Surprisingly, the most exciting performances await us in the STA discipline. The current absolute world records in STA belong to:
Stéphane Mifsud (FRA) - 11:35
Natalia Molchanova (INT) - 09:02

The records have remained unbeaten for 14 years among the men and 10 years among the women.

Stéphane does not compete anymore, and Natalia is no longer with us, but the strongest competitive athletes in STA are going to the Championship. In particular, Budimir Buda Šobat (CRO) and Valdemar Karlsson (SWE) have close personal best AIDA results in STA of 09:04 and 09:28, respectively. If you think that Valdemar is the likely winner because his result is 24 seconds longer, don't be too quick with your conclusions. Budimir is actually the Guinness World Record holder in STA with oxygen. In 2023, he held his breath for a mind-blowing 24:33.

Among women, the most likely winner in STA is Heike Schwerdtner (GER). Her AIDA PB is 8:45, which she reached at the 30th AIDA Freediving World Championship. The talented Julia, whose PB is 8:03, may challenge Heike.

But the main question is whether someone will finally try to set a new World Record in STA. Men still have a long way to go, but Heike is just 17 seconds away from it! So, we are very excited to see her performance, and you should be, too!

What’s next?

Each day of the Championship, we’ll tell you about the most anticipated performances and will try to predict the winners so you don't miss out on historic dives. We'll also post official links to the online broadcasts so you can find them easily. If you don't have time to watch the broadcast - don't worry! We'll watch for you and write detailed reports on all the notable performances.

To make the Championship more fun, we are preparing a special challenge and award for our followers during the athletes’ day off on June 26. Follow our news from the Championship so you don’t miss out!

Stay tuned and make sure you catch our updates about the Championship.

If you want more information on freediving competitions and how to watch them to get ready for this year’s Championship, make sure you check our competition guides:

Competition Day 1: DYNB (June 24)

On June 24, the first day of 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship in Kaunas, Lithuania, athletes competed in Dynamic with Bifins (DYNB).

The setup

AIDA is famous for its unwavering rules. In particular, in the DYNB discipline, AIDA doesn't allow for a single dolphin kick during performance. For breaking this rule, an athlete will be disqualified.

Yet, 113 athletes dared to compete in the discipline, with less red cards than you might expect. In total, there were 16 red cards and 1 yellow card. Moreover, 22 athletes set new AIDA National Records for their countries and 6 new AIDA Continental Records (all with pending status until the doping control results are final).

The winners among women

The women's event unfolded predictably, with few unexpected outcomes Julia Kozerska (POL) performed in the 17th heat, and by the time she was scheduled to dive, Julia already knew the results of her main competitors - Jiyeon Kim (KOR) and Kateryna Sadurska (UKR).

Jiyeon swam in the first heat and opened the Championship with a strong 217m (712ft) dive, improving her own AIDA National Record by 6m (20ft) and leading in the discipline up until Julia's dive. Kateryna dived in the 15th heat and repeated her own AIDA National Record by swimming 216m (709ft). Both ladies showed confident surface protocols and received white cards. But the fate of their medals was in Julia's hands.

Julia effortlessly performed a 225m (738ft) dive and finished fully in control with a neat surface protocol. Congratulations to the Champion! Consequently, the silver and bronze medals went to Jiyeon and Kateryna, respectivly.

Yasuko Ozeki (JPN) and Zsófia Törőcsik (HUN) dived the same 207m (679ft) distance. However, Yasuko's announcement of 176m (577ft) was closer to the announced performed distance than Zsófia's announcement of 120m (394ft). Therefore, Yasuko came in fourth, and Zsófia is fifth in the Championship ranking by discipline.

To sum up, the winners among the women are as follows:

1st place - 225m (738ft) - Julia Kozerska (POL)
2nd place - 217m (712ft) - Jiyeon Kim (KOR) - AIDA National Record for Korea
3rd place - 216m (709ft) - Kateryna Sadurska (UKR) - AIDA National Record for Ukraine

The winners among men

There was no obvious leader among men, so the competition was more dramatic, and the results were unexpected.

At first, everything looked as expected. Karol Karcz (POL), who had the top AIDA personal best (PB) in DYNB (232m / 761ft) among the men, swam in the first heat and significantly improved his own previous record, finishing with a distance of 250m (820ft). Karol showed a confident surface protocol and received a white card.

But already in the next heat, judges gave the first red card to the men for a seemingly clean performance of 187m (614ft) by Brady Bradshaw (USA). The judge explained to Brady afterward that the red card was for a dolphin kick. We wish you better luck next time, Brady!

The next red card went to Karlo Grbin (SWE). The athlete aimed to set a new AIDA National Record for Sweden by swimming 235m (771ft). However, he surpassed not only the record distance but also his own limits, blacking out on the surface. You’ll get there next time, Karlo!

In the 17th heat, it seemed that luck was finally on the men's side. Ibrahim Al Sulaitni (OMA) performed the new longest dive of the day by swimming 252m (827ft). Ibrahim received a white card and counted on a secured place on the podium. However, after rewatching videos of his dive, judges changed their decision and disqualified Ibrahim's dive for a double "OK" sign. Ah, the medal was so close! We feel for you, Ibrahim, good luck next time!

Only during the final heat did fortune finally smile upon the men. Everyone who competed in the 19th heat improved their PBs, received white cards, and set new AIDA Continental and National Records for their countries. The winner among men was also defined during those last moments. So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Rolando Salgado (CUB), who debuted at the AIDA World Championship with a 255m (837ft) dive, won the gold medal, and set a new AIDA Continental Record for North America. Congratulations, Rolando - it was epic!

David Spreitz Elings (SWE) and Clement Lesaffre (FRA) both performed 232m (761ft) dives and set new AIDA National Records for Sweden and France, respectively. But only one will step onto the podium - Clement, whose announced performance was closer to the realized performance than David's.

To sum up, the winners among the men are as follows:

1st place - 255m (837ft) - Rolando Salgado (CUB) - AIDA Continental Record for North America
2nd place - 250m (820ft) - Karol Karcz (POL)
3rd place - 232m (761ft) - Clement Lesaffre (FRA) - AIDA National Record for France

Congratulations to the athletes on a thrilling first competition day!

We also want to thank the competition organizers for their online broadcast and commentating. Many fans mentioned that it was the best online broadcast of the World Championship by far. We’re looking forward for the upcoming days - until then, stay tuned!

Competition Day 2: DNF (June 25)

On June 25, the second day of the 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship in Kaunas, Lithuania, athletes competed in Dynamic with No Fins (DNF). DNF is the most demanding discipline regarding technique, body strength, and mindset. Moreover, the competition takes place in a 50m (164ft) pool, which makes DNF even more challenging as athletes have fewer turns and, therefore, fewer chances to push from the poolside to get additional propulsion.

The setup

9 out of 105 athletes who announced their performances on the second competition day received red cards - interestingly, all of the red cards were earned by men. Those who earned white cards also set 10 new AIDA National Records and 3 new AIDA Continental Records.

As for the winners, the top 3 among the women were easily predictable in advance, so that part of the competition didn't bring any surprises. But the competition among the men had an unexpected twist.

Keep reading for more!

The winners among women

The main leader in the discipline among women, Julia Kozerska (POL), performed in the first heat, swimming as far as 202m (663ft). This performance is significantly less than Julia’s current absolute World Record in DNF of 213m (699ft), set in 2023 during the 30th AIDA World Championship, yet it became the top result of the day. In fact, Julia's performance surpassed that of all other competitors, both male and female. Congratulations, Julia, you are magnificent!

The competition for the silver medal was fierce. Zsófia Törőcsik (HUN) and Kateryna Sadurska (UKR) performed in the 16th heat. Zsófia swam much faster, surfaced at 180m (591ft), and received a white card after observing how Kateryna finished with a 3m (10ft) shorter distance.

In the end, Zsófia improved her previous AIDA National Record for Hungary by an impressive 47m (154ft). Kateryna also set a new AIDA National Record for Ukraine but with a more moderate improvement of 6m (20ft).

Kateryna is a famous and experienced athlete with multiple champion titles and medals in her collection. She is also the current absolute World Record Holder in depth discipline - Constant Weight with No Fins - with a dive to 77m (253ft). Zsófia, however, is debuting at the World Championship. On the first competition day, she landed fifth in the DYNB ranking, yet performed the fourth furthest dive of the day of 207m (679ft) and improved the AIDA National Record for Hungary in DYNB by 55m (180ft). We are happy to see Zsófia stepping onto the podium next to such strong athletes as Julia and Kateryna in her first-ever World Championship.

Fourth place, yet again, went to Yasuko Ozeki (JAP), who performed a clean and confident 172m (564ft) dive and set a new AIDA Continental Record for Asia.

To sum up, the winners among women are as follows:

1st place - 202m (663ft) - Julia Kozerska (POL)
2nd place - 180m (591ft) - Zsófia Törőcsik (HUN) - AIDA National Record for Hungary
3rd place - 177m (581ft) - Kateryna Sadurska (UKR) - AIDA National Record for Ukraine

Congratulations to all the winners and new record holders!

The winners among men

The men's competition, already lacking a diverse range of participants, became even less representative when yesterday's champion, Rolando Salgado (CUB), failed to submit his announcement for the Dynamic No Fins (DNF) event - despite it being his favorite discipline. In April 2024, Rolando set a new AIDA Continental Record for North America swimming 188m (617ft). It's a true pity that he didn't perform today.

So, in first place with a big lead is Karol Karcz (POL), who swam 197m (646ft. Second is Andras Sopronyi (HUN). Andras performed a 183m (600ft) dive and set a new AIDA National Record for Hungary, improving his previous record by 11m (36ft). Third is Klaus Kasten (GER), with a result of 175m (574ft). Klaus surpassed his main competitor for the medal - Brady Bradshaw (USA) - by only 1m (3ft) while significantly improving his official personal best in DNF by 17m (56ft). Klaus has made a significant jump in the AIDA National Ranking for Germany - leaping from 6th to 2nd position in the discipline.

In the last heat, two men also had a chance to fight for the bronze. Michael Sadowicz (GER) and Karlo Grbin (SWE) swam 177m (581ft) and 178m (584ft), respectively. But Michael didn't manage to keep his airways above the surface, and Karlo blacked out. Sadly, for Karlo, this was his second blackout within two competition days, and the second missed attempt to win the bronze.

To sum up, the winners among men are as follows:

1st place - 197m (646ft) - Karol Karcz (POL)
2nd place - 183m (600ft) - Andras Sopronyi (HUN) - AIDA National Record for Hungary
3rd place - 175m (574ft) - Klaus Kasten (GER)

Congratulations to all the winners, new record holders, organizers, judges, and commentators. We hope you will have a great day off on June 26, and we can't wait to see you again soon for the second half of the Championship!


On June 27, the third day of the 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship in Kaunas, Lithuania, a new chapter of freediving history began.

Heike Schwerdtner (GER) held her breath for an incredible 09:07 in STA, which surpasses the previous world record set by the legendary Natalia Molchanova 11 long years ago.

The New World Record Holder

Heike — a 54-year-old nursing teacher from Regensburg — started freediving in 2015 after a workshop at Lake Murner. In 2017, she was already part of the German National Team with a STA performance of 06:19 and respectable results in dynamic disciplines. Most athletes who currently have impressive performances in STA focus only on this discipline. Heike, nonetheless, also performs in dynamic disciplines, and is number one female freediver in Germany in all dynamic disciplines according to the AIDA National Ranking.

We have found an interview Heike gave at the beginning of her freediving career seven years ago. She said that for her, from the very beginning, freediving was "combining the elements of water, sun, movement, meditation, extreme experiences, and my own willpower is a challenge, relaxation and pure enjoyment."

After today’s record-breaking performance, Heike says that she doesn’t feel strong discomfort when training breath-holds. If you check her performance (which you must - it’s a historic moment in freediving you can witness with your own eyes), you will see that she doesn't experience strong contractions until the end of her long performance.

In 2023, during the 30th AIDA Freediving World Championship, Heike performed an 08:45 breath-hold, winning a gold medal and setting a new AIDA National Record for Germany. That year, Heike was 17 seconds away from Natalia's STA World Record. It was inevitable that Heike would break it if she kept training.

And so she did.

On June 26, 2024, just a year later and right after we celebrated the 11th anniversary of Natalia's world record on June 21, Heike surpassed it by 5 seconds.

There are no words to properly express our admiration and awe, so simply - CONGRATULATIONS, HEIKE!

Tribute to Natalia Molchanova

It is a special honor to be the next in the line of World Record Holders after Natalia. Yet, we can't rid ourselves of a bittersweet feeling: it was the last record of Natalia's that remained unbeaten since she passed away nine years ago. Natalia had been a permanent World Record Holder in STA since 2005, when she set her first STA World Record during the 1st AIDA Individual Pool World Freediving Championship, holding her breath for 07:16. After that, she beat her own record four times, increasing it from 07:16 to 09:02 within 8 years. Remarkably, in the Championship where Natalia completed the 09:02 breath-hold, her performance surpassed that of all male competitors.

Now, it is Heike's turn to break records and shape the future of freediving. Vivat, Heike!

Farewell to Natalia's era. We will remember.

Competition Day 3: STA (June 27)

On June 27, the third day of the 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship in Kaunas, Lithuania, athletes competed in Static Apnea (STA). This discipline is thought to be the most boring, since from the outside, it looks like nothing is happenening. Athletes simply lie on the pool’s surface with their faces in the water and hold their breath for as long as they can. But this time, watching the STA competition became a real emotional rollercoaster.

The setup

In short:
- 112 athletes participated
- 21 received red cards
- 3 received yellow cards
- 10 set new AIDA National Records
- 1 set a new AIDA Continental Record
- 1 set a new AIDA World Record
- Performances ranged from 03:13 to 09:07

More details below!

The winners among women

Of course, the main event of the day was the new AIDA World Record set by Heike Schwerdtner (GER). For the first time since 2005, a world record in this discipline belonged to someone other than Natalia Molchanova. Natalia set her first STA World Record in 2005, holding her breath for 07:16 and then improving it to 09:02 within 8 years. Natalia's last record remained unbeaten for 11 years.

Heike's 09:07 performance became a historic moment and an impressive breakthrough. She improved the previous world record by 5 seconds and finished her performance with a clean surface protocol, fully conscious and completely under control. So, we can probably expect great new feats from Heike soon.

Congratulations, Heike - we are thrilled to see your next performances and wish you the best of luck!

Since the world record and gold model were already spoken for in the third heat, the following women competed for silver and bronze, far behind Heike’s performance.

One of the main contenders for a medal - Julia Kozerska (POL) - seemed to be quite tired after winning two gold medals on the previous competition days. Julia held her breath for 07:18 (while her personal best remains 8:02) and became fourth in the ranking by discipline.

So, the silver and bronze were won by two athletes — Iiris Ala-Olla (FIN) and Yuriko Ichihara (JPN) — both with the same performance of 07:36, which is very rare in STA. Iiris set a new AIDA National Record for Finland, and Yuriko set a new AIDA Continental Record for Asia.

However, Iiris's announced performance was closer to the realized performance; therefore, she received the silver medal, and Yuriko the bronze.

The winners among men

Remarkably, Heike's performance was the longest breath-hold among both the women and men of the championship event! However, the men were lucky that the results were counted separately, so they also had a chance to win the gold.

But not everyone used that chance. Karol Karcz (POL), with a personal best of 08:12, seemed to be able to count on the bronze medal. Unfortunately, he blacked out at 01:45 after the beginning of his performance due to overpacking his lungs. The most disappointing part is that Karol won’t be allowed to perform on the last competition day because of the blackout. We hope the luck will be on your side at the next Championship, Karol!

The first breakthrough for men happened during the fourth heat when Anthony Judge (AUS) managed to hold his breath for 08:02. The result remained the best among the men's performances until the final heat.

A true sports drama unfolded among the six strongest men in the last heat. We considered Valdemar Karlsson (SWE), whose personal best is 09:28, as the main contender for the gold. But we were surprised to see Valdemar finishing his performance at 05:43. It was even less than his announced performance, so the athlete received a yellow card. The next athlete was out of action at 06:59. Romain Jacob (FRA) had a very interesting strategy to distract himself from discomfort during his performance, which involved him wearing a lanyard that was attached to the side of the pool. He would pull himself up to the pool wall using the lanyard and then gently push himself away from the wall and repeat. Unfortunately, it didn't help him this time, and Romain finished his performance earlier than the announced performance, didn't show the surface protocol, and received a red card. We were as heartbroken as you, Romain - better luck next time!

Eventually, only David Spreitz Elings (SWE) and Budimir Buda Šobat (CRO) were left still holding their breath, a full 8 minutes after the beginning of their performances. Buda finished his attempt first at 08:37 with an impressively loud "I'm OK" exclamation, one that no one in the pool could doubt - it was a white card! But then Buda noticed that David was still in the midst of his performance, and his spirit seemed to deflate. David finally ended his performance at 09:05, showed the surface protocol, and received a white card. There was an outburst of emotions for everyone to see once David realized he won.

During the interview, David said that he reached this result several times during his training, but he didn't expect to repeat it during the Championship. Well done, David, and congratulations to the champion on a well-deserved gold medal!

Once again - congratulations to all the athletes! Thank you all for the beautiful performances, emotions, and inspiration. It was an incredible day! And now we are all ready for the final day of the Championship - DYN.

Stay tuned!

Competition Day 4: DYN (June 28)

On June 28, the last day of the 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship in Kaunas, Lithuania, athletes competed in Dynamic Apnea (DYN).

Their task was to swim underwater with a monofin as far as possible. This discipline is considered to be the most beautiful and, well, dynamic. Also, results in DYN are always the ones with the biggest numbers, as the dolphin kicking technique is the most efficient. The only ones who probably don't enjoy the discipline as much are the judges and safeties, who have to nearly run on the poolside and sprint in the water to keep up with the athletes.

Short Summary of the Day

  • 110 athletes participated
  • 10 received red cards
  • 2 received yellow cards
  • 11 set new AIDA National Records
  • 4 set new AIDA Continental Records
  • Performances ranged from 67m (220ft) to 254m (833ft)

More details below!

The winners among women

The women continue to hold a high level of performance. For the second Championship in a row, new talented ladies have emerged. Last year, we were in awe of the impressive debut of Bevin Reynolds (ZAF), who won the gold in DYNB and two silver medals in DNF and DYN. This year, we celebrate Zsófia Törőcsik (HUN), who became Vice-Champion twice with an impressive improvement in her personal bests and national ranking results.

Zsófia swam in the 17th heat and finished her dive at a distance of 250m (820ft) with a clean and confident surface protocol. Julia Kozerska (POL), who was diving in the last heat, knew the results of her contenders. She turned at 250m, pushed from the poolside, and surfaced looking quite fresh and relaxed - her third gold medal!

And at last, Yasuko Ozeki (JAP) won the bronze with a 231m (758ft) dive. During the Championship, Yasuko ranked 4th in two disciplines. And now, with the help of some luck, Yasuko has reached the podium at last. Natalie Bruce (USA) swam exactly the same distance of 231m; however, Yasuko's announced performance was closer to the realized performance than Natalie's. Therefore, Yasuko took the medal while Natalie became a new AIDA Continental Record Holder for North America.

To sum up, the winners among the women are as follows:

1st place - 252m (827ft) - Julia Kozerska (POL)
2nd place - 250m (820ft) - Zsófia Törőcsik (HUN) - AIDA National Record for Hungary
3rd place - 231m (758ft) - Yasuko Ozeki (JPN)

The winners among men

The men's results (just as with all the disciplines at this Championship) barely surpassed those of the women. However, the competition among the men was as dramatic as ever.

The first man to make the turn at 250m (820ft) was Ibrahim Al Sulaitni (OMA).
He finished at 252m (827ft) and completed the surface protocol without mistakes — white card. On the first competition day, Ibrahim performed a dive to the same distance with bifins but was disqualified for a mistake in the surface protocol, missing his chance to win the silver medal.

Of all the men competing today, only two managed to dive further than Ibrahim. So at last, he secured the bronze.

In the last heat, Rolando Salgado (CUB) and Clement Lesaffre (FRA) dived 266m (873ft) and 254m (833ft), respectively. Rolando swam much faster than Clement and tried to perform the surface protocol while a safety diver dashed right in front of him, chasing Clement. Distracted, Rolando took off the nose clip and showed the OK sign, then remembered that he didn't take off the goggles. So he stopped, removed the goggles, showed the sign again, and said, "I'm OK". Unfortunately, this sequence of actions is incorrect, and according to the AIDA rules, Rolando should have technically been disqualified. Nonetheless, the judge showed Rolando a white card.

Meanwhile, Clement also finished his dive and received a white card.

On the poolside, Rolando was celebrated as the World Champion, yet, after judges rewatched the footage of his dive, the white card turned to red. It's a very discouraging and heartbreaking situation; we hope Rolando will still find the courage to keep training and competing after such an emotional debut.

So, eventually, the winners among the men are as follows:

1st place - 254m (833ft) - Clement Lesaffre (FRA)
2nd place - 252m (827ft) - Ibrahim Al Sulaitni (OMA) - AIDA National Record for Oman
3rd place - 242m (794ft) - Sylvain Desaulniers (CAN) - AIDA Continental Record for North America

Overall Winners

Predictably, Julia Kozerska became the overall winner among the women (and, ironically, among the men, as well). Julia also won the Natalia Molchanova Award for the second year in a row, with three gold medals in dynamic disciplines and fourth place in STA. Julia's total score is 427.1 points.

The overall winner among men earned 13.6 points less, scoring 413.5 points in total. Nonetheless, for David Spreitz Elings (SWE), it is a great achievement and breakthrough. David became the World Champion in STA, ranked 4th in DYNB and DYN, and enjoyed himself in DNF, earning 19th place in the discipline.

Congratulations to all the Champions, awardees, and new World, Continental, and National Record Holders! You did an amazing job and earned every bit of our admiration!

We also thank all the judges and safety divers for caring for the athletes. Last but not least, we greatly appreciated the organizers' incredible broadcast and commentating! It was very professional and entertaining.

The 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championship is over! After a short break, we will resume our reporting, this time on the CMAS 4th World Championship Freediving Indoor. Stay tuned, and see you in Belgrade!



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