The 4th AIDA Individual World Championship of Freediving closed yesterday at the diving resort Sharm Club in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, with the Constant Weight without Fins category. For the first time in history, athletes competed against one another in this discipline, by some labelled ‘the purest form of freediving’, for the title of World Champion.
Many athletes illustrated uncertainty as to their potentials in this new-coming discipline in freediving, seeing many disqualified dives at the end of the day. One of these was the world record attempt in the ladies competition by comet Sara Campbell from the United Kingdom. She went for 60 metres depth, trying to add 4 metres to her own world record, but failed only few metres short of the surface. Gold went in stead to Jarmila Slovencikova from the Czech Republic with a plunge to 50 metres depth.
In the men’s ranks, there was fierce competition between the stars of the no fins category, seeing Austrian master Herbert Nitsch head to head against William Trubridge from New Zealand and William Winram from Canada. As Trubridge failed an attempt to 75 metres, Winram succeeded reaching the same depth, a tremendous uprising for Winram, who all through the preface of the competition suffered countless problems with infections on both ears, crucial tools in a freediver’s equalization. Bronze went to Russian Alexey Molchanov, retribution to the family, after his mother, master freediver Natalia Molchanova, failed to claim gold on Thursday’s first competition day. No one, however, could match the performance of Nitsch, who collected his second gold medal at the championships, reaching 77 metres depth. This leaves Nitsch with a clean sweep from Sharm el Sheikh, as on Thursday, he had already added one metre to his own world record in the classic Constant Weight category, reaching an incredible depth of 112 metres.
The freediving world championship was organized by respected freediving school Apnea Academy and their office in Sharm el Sheikh, in collaboration with AIDA International. Apnea Academy’s founder, Italian freediving legend Umberto Pelizzari, appeared at the closing ceremony, presenting a special award to the protector of the games, the Governor of South Sinai, H. E. General Mohamed Hany Metwally.
The organizers had their fill during the event days, as rough seas and heavy currents canceled the original first day of competition, forcing to unite men and ladies’ competition on the same two competition days instead of four. Successful was the measurement of the two important competition ropes, who for the first time in AIDA history conformed to the exact metre and one decimal with the official SUUNTO D9 dive computers. This instrument confirmed superbly all through the competition, and proved to be a revolution in diving depth gauges, capable of measuring the depth three times per second, essential for freedivers.
Winners, 4th AIDA World Championship of Freediving 2007:
Constant Weight, Men, November 1st:
GOLD Herbert NITSCH(AUT), 112 m, 112 points
SILVER Dave MULLINS (NZL), 110 m, 105 points
BRONZE Carlos COSTE (VEN), 103 m, 103 points
Constant Weight, Women, November 1st:
GOLD Sara CAMPBELL (GBR), 88 m, 88 points
SILVER Annelie POMPE (SWE), 77 m, 77 points
BRONZE Maria LIVBJERG (DEN), 63 m, 63 points
Constant Weight Without Fins, Men, November 3rd:
GOLD Herbert NITCH (AUT), 77 m, 77 points
SILVER William WINRAM (CAN), 75 m, 75 points
BRONZE Alexey MOLCHANOV (RUS), 65 m, 65 points
Constant Weight Without Fins, Women, November 3rd:
GOLD Jarmila SLOVENCIKOVA (CZE), 50 m, 50 p
SILVER Susanna SAARI (FIN), 40 m, 40 points
BRONZE Anna VON BOETTICHER (GER), 38 m, 38 points