From the AIDA website:
SHARM EL SHEIKH, Saturday 6th September : — The 6th AIDATeam World Freediving Championships 2008 kicked off on 1st September with highexpectations; the NZ men and Russian women were highly expected to take the golds,however with strong competition alongside in the men’s teams from France,Greece, Czech Republic and all the Scandinavian countries. The women’scompetition, on first glance seemed to be pretty much a winner. Theannouncements on the evening of 2nd September were as conservative as to beexpected, no team willing to risk the individual glory of a world record forthe sake of jeopardising their country’s chance at gold through black-out ordisqualification. Six men announced depths of 100m, the deepest woman was NataliaMolchanova with 85m, and Dave Mullins topped the scoreboard for the second yearrunning with 104m.
Split into two days of randomly selected athletes, day one already sawsome unexpected developments, the most significant being Will Trubridge’s earlyturn at 88m on a 90m dive, followed by a further penalty of 30 points after thejudges declared a triple grab of the line outside of the grab zone, severelywounding the favourite’s chance to get an easy advantage over their closestrivals. Guillaume Nery also turned early; 98m on 100m dive, but team mateChristian Maldame delivered under pressure with a clean 85m. The Czechs andGreeks had a good start with Manolis Giankos and Martin Stepanek, with two clean100m performances, and the Greek men, all up on day one, gave a consistent andimpressive performance with 85m from Dimitrios Chatziaslan and 72m fromAlexandros Tzaveralis. In the women’s field Mandy Rae swooped back into actionwith a clean 80m dive, followed by Brazil’s Carolina Schrappe, who managed in aprotest to turn a red card for dipping her airways, into white, and secure 67points for her country. Given the conservative depths, there was a surprisingamount of early turns and yellow cards, possibly down to first day nerves andwhat can only be described as less than ideal diving conditions, with a largeswell and choppy surface.
The second ay proved difficult for all teams due to weather conditionsmaking breathe-ups and recovery challenging for even the most experienced divers.The Kiwi boy’s luck did not turn; Ant Williams was penalised with a graboutside the zone at the bottom on an otherwise clean 82m dive and Dave Mullinssurprised everyone by turning 12m early on his announced 104m performance. Withall eyes on the French and Czechs, the pressure was on for them all to beclean. Frenchman Morgan Bourchis didn’t disappoint on his 80m dive, likewisePetr Zlatuska with a clean 75m. Nathalie Avseenko was the big shock of the day;her surface protocol was deemed incorrect and brought a red card to the Russianwomen, potentially putting them out of the race. However, she must have pickedup some alchemy tips from Caroline Schrappe as she too turned red into white ina protest to retain the Russian women’s stronghold on top spot.
The static competition finishes today 8th September. AIDA report that therewill be possibly some risky performances in the pool and Deeperblue.com awaitthe results.