The first of the three A & B finals have taken place in Belgrade for the 2015 Individual Pool World Championships. The 32 competitors who passed the initial heats took to the outdoor pool to see who would get gold in the Dynamic No Fins (DNF) discipline!
Despite some complaints about the temperature of the outdoor pool at the venue all athletes competed and there were some very strong performances.
Mateusz Malina from Poland and Alice Hickson from the UK both took top spot on the podium with 214m and 174m swims respectively. Whilst Malina has been around the Freediving circuit for a while Hickson is a complete newcomer having only been freediving for 8 months and completed only two competitions – both ending up being DNF National Records!
Hickson, a swim coach and studying Occupational Therapy part-time, had this to say to DeeperBlue.com
“I was excited to come to the World championships as I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the competitive world of freediving and gain some experience. I’ve only ever done one other completion so I didn’t know what to expect but so far its been amazing and totally overwhelming, in a good way. The day before the competition I started getting really nervous and doubted my ability to compete against some of the best people in the sport. But then I remembered why I was here, for experience and to enjoy it so I told my self just ‘do your best’ and that’s all you can do. So during my first dive I kept that thought and made it into the finals, whist setting a new national record. I was chuffed. Then it was time for the finals, I used the same motto to calm my nerves but at the last minute before official top, I felt my heart racing and the last thing I thought is that whatever happens I’ve come eighth.”
Three National Records were also set during the finals:
- Alice HICKSON (United Kingdom) 174m
- Tijana NIKOLIC (Serbia) 136m
- Alexandr BUBENCHIKOV (Ukraine) 205m
The final standings for the DNF Finals:
All Photos Courtesy of and © Copyright Daan Verhoeven