On Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 March, the Danish Pool Championships took place in Kalundborg at an impressive sports complex Kalundborg Hallerne. The two Danish Champions crowned were Anette Rafen Ottzen and Rune Hallum Sørensen. Organised by two Danish athletes Camilla Emilie Salling (a regular member of the Danish Team, who won bronze) and Steffen Stensgaard Kruse (who won best male new-comer).
There were three pools, exclusively dedicated to the championships: a warm shallow pool for static, a 25m pool for dynamic and a deep plunge pool for having fun; Daan Verhoeven, a well-known freediving photographer and many of the athletes took advantage of playing around on the bottom after competing!
Athletes arrived from freediving clubs across the country with a few from further afield (Kalundborg is a short train ride from Copenhagen). This year the organisers were delighted to see a significant increase in the number of female athletes signing up, a total of 17 – in previous years these numbers were around 7! A great reflection on freediving as a sport. The competition was excellently organised with attention to detail ensuring it ran smoothly from start to finish. Official tops ran according to schedule and the level of competitive freediving experience across the board was clear, from judging, coaching, safety and organisation, making for a calm and comfortable atmosphere. Fresh water, fruit and sandwiches were on offer throughout over both days, especially welcomed by those who had fasted pre-performance.
The battle for the men’s gold medal was very exciting with only 0.6 points separating the eventual winners Rune Hallum Sørensen and Jesper Stechmann. The competition was closed with the awards ceremony; prizes were given to the top three female and male and athletes, to the volunteers (safety, medic, judges, assistant judges), best freediving newcomers, best coach, and nicest freediver. A feast was laid out after and enjoyed by everyone before going their separate ways.
Podium places are as follows:
- Anette Rafen Ottzen
- Anne Have Rasmussen
- Camilla Emilie Salling
- Rune Hallum Sørensen
- Jesper Stechmann
- Jimmy Fonager Justesen
Full results are available in PDF form from the Organisers (Resultat-DM-2016).