Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Vertical Blue 2023 Day 9: Pedro Tapia and Fatima Korok Take Overall Gold


The final day of Vertical Blue at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas saw Slovenia’s Alenka Artnik extend her Constant Weight with Bifins (CWTB) world record by a full 2 meters from the record she set on Day 6.

Artnik dove to 111m/364ft and let out a guttural yell of triumph when the white card was shown.

Alenka Artnik (Photo courtesy Daan Verhoeven)
Alenka Artnik (Photo courtesy Daan Verhoeven)

Overall Results

Mexico’s Pedro Tapia and Hungary’s Fatima Korok took the men’s and women’s top overall places after the nine days of competition, with 259.30 and 265.50 points, respectively.

The USA’s Tory George and China’s Potti Dinging Liu took silver and bronze overall for the men. Ukraine’s Kateryna Sadurska and the USA’s Enchante Gallardo got second and third for the women.

In the individual disciplines, Germany’s Stefan Randig, Mexico’s Tapia, and Taiwan’s Wen Hsiang Huang took home the men’s gold, silver, and bronze in the Constant Weight No Fins (CNF) discipline. At the same time, Ukraine’s Sadurska, Australia’s Amber Bourke, and Hungary’s Korok got first, second, and third for the women.

For the Constant Weight (CWT) discipline, Artnik brought home the women’s gold, followed by Ercumen and Japan’s Misuzu Okamoto. For the men, Alexey Molchanov, competing under no flag due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, got gold, while Italy’s Davide Carrera and France’s Arnaud Jerald earned silver and bronze.

In the Free Immersion (FIM) discipline, Molchanov also brought home the men’s gold, followed by Tunisia’s Walid Bouidhiaf and Taiwan’s Yun Chieh Ku. Korok nabbed first place for the women, with Gallardo and Sadurska getting silver and bronze.

Vertical Blue 2023: Overall Results
Vertical Blue 2023: Overall Results

Five National Records Set

Five more national records fell on Day 9, three of them by women.

  • Pedro Tapia earned a white card and a Mexican men’s national record with a 103m/338ft FIM dive.
  • Simon Bennett from Chile dove to 77m/253ft in the CWTB discipline.
  • Fatima Korok set a women’s national CWTB record with her 90m/295ft dive.
  • Sahika Ercumen dove to 100m/328ft on her monofin.
  • Estrella Navarro from Mexico set a CNF record with her dive to 59m/194ft.

A Few Challenges

Only two red cards were shown on the final competition day, while five competitors got yellow for cutting their dives short.

  • Taiwan’s Wen Hsiang Huang was gunning for a 78m/256ft CNF continental record, but drew a red card after blacking out at the 6m/20ft mark.
  • Belgium’s Marine Simonis drew red for “pulling.”


Check out the full Day 9 results below and the video replay of all the day’s dives.

Vertical Blue 2023: Day 9 Results
Vertical Blue 2023: Day 9 Results

Photos Courtesy of Daan Verhoeven. Additional Reporting by Francesca Koe in the Bahamas

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.