Poland’s Agnieszka Kalska set a new AIDA Women’s World Record this past weekend at the Polish Freediving Pool Championships.
Kalska swam 253 meters/830 feet in the Dynamic with Monofin discipline. Under AIDA rules, her record is pending doping tests and other paperwork.
Kalska was inspired to begin freediving in 2012 after doing a four-minute breath hold. According to a recent post on her Facebook page:
“It was incredible for me, as breaking the fundamental rules of human existence. For many years of my professional swimming training, I was not able to swim more than 25 meters underwater, and the same, holding my breathe for a time of max. 2 minutes. But when I discovered what is happening inside the body during freediving, I didn’t want it to be transformed into a need for sporting success. Freediving itself was from the beginning for me an activity that gives so many positive and deep emotions, that no success could match it.”
She began regular freediving training in the second half of 2014. Two years later, she set a Polish national record with a 205-meter/672.6-foot Monofin swim, only to have it broken minutes later by Magda Solich-Talanda.
“Happiness was mixed up with a disappointment. The long-awaited dream was fulfilled, but the title was picked up too quickly to achieve a full satisfaction. I decided to regain this Polish Record. At that time, I did not know yet, it would mean going for a world record…
“After this event, a lot has been happening in my training. Many changes and tests, better and worse performances. In 2018, for several months I trained under the supervision of Giorgos Pangiotakis, who shared with me his training methods. However, the greatest effects always, showed up when I was training by myself, according to the collected knowledge and experience, in accordance with the signals that was giving to me my body. In particular, allowing myself a proper rest and recovery time and not overloading the body with excessive training and hypoxia. The constant work with Alessandro Vergendo in accordance to his #peakperformance method, was the only constant part for nearly 5 years. If I had to answer, which is the secret of my success, I would say: hard training and ‘Deep Inside.'”
As for why attempt the record in her home country of Poland and not at the European Championships, Kalska wrote:
“There are several reasons. My goal in freediving has never been personal. I never wanted to beat anyone. My dream was just to get a record and be the best in Poland for a moment – just maybe a little longer than 10 minutes. I have won a lot of medals in my life and another without a proper result is a reason for my satisfaction. Indifferent, a historical result, which will, at least for a moment, last in the memory of everyone.
“Another reason is that I spent my whole childhood swimming in Szczecin, but this beautiful swimming pool was built, only after the successes of my training group, and when I stopped swimming. Believing that, I quietly added a small brick to this building, I dreamed this record right here. But above all, the overriding reason was to live it on-live with my family, partner and association of Polish freedivers, giving a little inspiration to my own students.”
Check out a video of her record-breaking swim below.