VIDEO: Stepanek, Roderick in Freediving World Record Attempts

Press Release

Martin Stepanek To Reclaim Title: Deepest Man In The World

SONY Free 2007 – Like No Other

On August 5, 2007 World Champion breath-hold diver Martin Stepanek will begin a series of attempts to set another World Record, this time in freediving’s most elite and coveted discipline: Constant Weight.  Martin, a single breath of air in his lungs, will attempt to swim down to a depth  of 112 meters and return to the surface using only his monofin, his strength, and his endurance.

VIDEO REPORT HERE.

The current World Record holder in this discipline is Austrian freediver Herbert Nitsch, with a depth of  111 meters.

Martin Stepanek’s frequent record-setting  performances have demonstrated that he’s got no intention of yielding as World Champion. His achievements, growing fame and media exposure in his native Czech Republic achievements have made freediving a wildly popular sport even in that landlocked country.

The SONY Free  event is organized by FIT (Freediving Instructors and Trainers) in partnership with SONY,  and will run from August 5 -11 in Dahab, Egypt.  During the event week Martin will have three opportunities to break the current World Record.

Martin and his team will spend three weeks preceding the event in Dahab acclimating, planning and training.  FIT teammate Niki Roderick of New Zealand will train alongside Martin and will make her debut as a world -class freediver by attempting to break one of the freediving’s longest-standing World Records, in the Womens Variable Weight discipline. Niki, a rising star in competitive freediving, currently holds the New Zealand Womens National Record in the Constant Weight discipline and has been training at FIT under Martin’s supervision.

The record attempts will be observed and  ratified by AIDA International Judges. AIDA is the world sanctioning body for competitive freediving, and the AIDA International Judges will make sure that the event follows the agency’s strict protocols.

The SONY Free  event will be  like no other.  Event diary and video updates are available on  www.martinstepanek.com.

Freediving is an advanced form of snorkeling which has evolved  into the  performance sport of breath-hold diving. Athletes compete  for depth, for distance and for  time underwater on a single breath of air. Freediving’s roots are as old as humanity itself,  appearing in the most ancient accounts of Japanese and Korean oyster divers, Greek sponge divers and Persian pearl divers. Freediving has been practiced as a competitive sport since the early 20th century and has swelled in recent years into a global lifestyle phenomenon. The boom began in Mediterranean France and Italy, and has rapidly spread all over the world, led by Martin Stepanek and a new generation of divers.

The  Constant Weight discipline  is called the “holy grail” of freediving, and the Constant Weight World Record is the most respected in the freediving community. The Constant Weight athlete completes his dive under his own power, with no artificial propulsion.

AIDA is the  International Association for Development of Apnea – theglobal governing body  for the sport of freediving.

Paul Kotik has been a Staff Writer and Freediving Editor for DeeperBlue.com. He lives in Florida, USA with his family.

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