The 2007 AIDA World Freediving Championship competition began yesterday with a round of Constant Ballast performances. The day’s competition was later cancelled due to equipment malfunctions. Competition is scheduled to resume on Thursday.
Athletes have reported that pre-competition training conditions have been difficult due to chilly weather and organizational shortcomings. One vessel being used by athletes was lost at sea for several hours, the captain later arrested and jailed. The German and Italian women’s teams had some tense moments when athletes blacked out at about 25 meters, one athlete staying unconscious on the surface for over a minute.
Former world record holder Herbert Nitsch of Austria has apparently been permitted by organizers to enter the competition as a country with a national team consisting of himself, in an apparent contravention of AIDA rules. This controversial move by the organizers is apparently aimed at making Mr. Nitsch’s performances eligible for world record certification. There’s been no comment on this matter from AIDA thus far.
Former World Record holder Carlos Coste of Venezuela is attending the event, but not competing. Several sources have reported that Mr. Coste is walking with a pronounced limp, evidently associated with his widely-reported training accident earlier this year.