Four world records and a bunch of national records were set on the first day of the 2021 Vertical Blue freediving competition at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.
Russia’s Alexey Molchanov claimed a new men’s world record in the Free Immersion (FIM) discipline with a 126-meter/413-foot dive. In a dive time of 4mins 45secs Molchanov planted his flag to say he wants to win the competition.
“My dive felt good, but I do have other competition in this discipline and those strong contenders are here at Vertical Blue. I’m focused on also executing excellent dives across all of the disciplines.”
France’s Arnaud Jerald set a new men’s Constant Weight with Bi-fins (CWT-BF) world record with a 116-meter/380-foot dive. Arnauld’s bi-fins dive took 3mins 30secs and he was not only super fresh at the end of his dive but a bit mischievous as he mimicked a “drop of the mic” when he presented his tag to the judges as proof of his depth.
On the women’s side, Italy’s Alessia Zecchini broke the women’s world record in the Constant Weight (CWT) discipline with a 115-meter/377-foot dive, only to have Alenka Artnik from Slovenia surpass it with a 118-meter/387-foot dive. Artnik had set the previous world record last year with a 114-meter/374-foot dive.
Alessia full of joy and laughter exclaimed “I really enjoyed my new world record, for the few minutes I had it!” The self-deprecation reflected her admiration for the Slovenian athlete.
Alenka made her incredible dive to 118m in a speedy time of 3mins 26secs. She commented after the dive:
“Today I was very focused, I did not sleep very much last night, and because of this, I knew I needed to remain focused to execute my dive to the level I wanted to. As I began my dive, I thought of our dear friend Sayuri Kinoshita and dedicated my dive to her. My dive was for Sayuri and because of Sayuri.”
Among the national men’s records set on Day One were Alejandro Lemus of Mexico with a 95-meter/312-foot CWT dive, Yun-Chieh Ku from Taiwan with a 101-meter/331-foot FIM dive, and Kehan Pan from China with a 70-meter/230-foot CWT dive.
On the women’s side, Talya Davidoff set a South African national record with a 64-meter/210-foot CWTBF dive, Sahika Ercumen set a Turkish national record with an 87-meter/285-foot CWT dive, and Isabelle Winner set a Bahamian national record with a 28-meter/92-foot FIM dive.
Check out the full results from Day One below.
The start list for Day 2 looks strong as well with no less than 10 National Record attempts announced!
Feature Image courtesy of Daan Verhoeven