New Zealand Pool Championships See Saudi National Records

NZ Pool Nats 2015 by Rob Harrison

The Ocean Hunter Freediving New Zealand Pool National Championships 2015 was held in Auckland at New Zealand’s only FINA approved Olympic pool complex – the Millennium Aquatic center from the 2nd to the 4th October 2015.

The national competition offered two grades for athletes to participate in: a Recreational Grade for those new to freediving as an introduction to performing in a competitive environment (this has no world ranking and the judging is more lenient); and the AIDA grade which was a world ranked event.

Rec Grade STA by John Pengally

The national championships boasted the strongest AIDA grade field in years with the likes of David Mullins, Chris Marshall, Guy Brew, Lewis Jones and Phil Clayton competing in the men’s competition; and world champion Kathryn Nevatt (McPhee) and up and coming athlete Gemma Cookson participating in the women’s competition.

Hamish McGill STA by John Pengally

The final results in the Recreational Grade saw strong performances:

  • Sarah Mazengarb (NZL) took out first position in the women’s with a total score of 152.2 (3:51 STA; 132m DYN; 80m DNF)
  • Masha Alekseeva (RUS) in second with 143.3 (3:29 STA; 120m DYN; 83m DNF)
  • Nicky Toothill (UK) in third with 119 (5:15 STA; 112m DYN).
  • Elliott Dunn (NZL) took out the men’s with 157.8 points (4:04 STA; 118m DYN; 100m DNF)
  • Luke Loxton (UK) in second with 147.9 (5:02 STA; 100m DYN; 75m DNF)
  • Brad James (NZL) with 147.5 (4:20 STA; 107m DYN; 84m DNF)
Mullins DYN by Rob Harrison

The final results in the AIDA Grade:

  • Kathryn Nevatt retain her women’s National Champion title and came second overall with 243 points (6:55 STA; 170m DYN; 150m DNF)
  • Gemma Cookson in second place with 111.5 points after slipping on the lane rope during her DYN surface protocol (4:35 STA; 113m DNF)
  • 2015 Men’s National Champion, David Mullins, was a welcome sight back in the pool, tallying 277.6 points (7:03 STA; 211m DYN; 175m DNF)
  • Chris Marshall kept his fine form from Belgrade with a solid 232.4 (4:46 STA; 200m DYN; 150m DNF)
  • Brisbane Freediver Lewis Jones came in third with 226.9 points and some amazing dives (5:32 STA; 181m DYN; 140m DNF)
Ali Al Khalifah and Dave Mullins by Rob Harrison

Ali Al Khalifah (KAS) also broke two Saudi Arabian National Records during this competition, setting a new DYN NR of 124m and new DNF record of 86m. He adds these two records to the FIM NR of 40m he set in March during the New Zealand Depth Nationals in Taupo.

The event released a video of 27 static breath holds compressed into 2 minutes that you can see below:

You can see more images from the event below.

Kathryn Nevatt (b) Gemma Cookson (f) by Rob Harrison
Dave Mullins DYN by Rob Harrison
Chris Marshall DNF by Rob Harrison
Chris Marshall (b) and Phil Clayton (f) DYN by Rob Harrison