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Leuci, Zharkova Take Top Spots At Authentic Big Blue 2018 Freediving Competition

Homar Leuci of Italy and Nataliia Zharkova from Ukraine — for the second year running — took the top men’s and women’s spots at the recent International Authentic Big Blue freediving competition in Amorgos, Greece.

Authentic Big Blue 2018 took place on September 16th through the 23rd, and was extra special as it marked the 30th anniversary of the film “The Big Blue” that put Amorgos on the freediving map. French composer Eric Serra, who wrote the movie’s soundtrack, was declared honorary citizen of Amorgos by Mayor Nicholas Fasterier at the event’s closing ceremony.

Sixty-four athletes from 18 countries competed in three disciplines — Constant Weight with Fins (CWT), Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) and Free Immersion (FIM) — with 13 national records set.

Leuci, with a total 228 points, won the men’s First Place for the second consecutive year, with Piero Giobbi coming in second with 214 points and Yannis Yaginis in third with 196 points.

For the women, Zharkova’s 223 points brought her first place, with Lena Balta from Serbia in second with 175 points and Hyemin Kim from Korea in third with 150 points. Zharkova also achieved a Ukrainian CNF national record with a 68-meter/223-foot dive.

For full results see below and for more info, check out the competition’s Facebook page.

(Top Photo credit: Makis Markoulias)

Authentic Big Blue 2018 Final Results
Authentic Big Blue 2018 Final Results
John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.