It has been one week since we come back from the World Championship in Belgrade where we both competed in all 3 pool disciplines, together with rest of the team from Great Britain (incl Beci Ryan, Georgina Miller, Lucelle Simms, Rebecca Coales, Alice Hickson, Jason Kirkpatrick)
We spent a great 10 days training, competing and meeting up with new and good old friends from all around the world. Freediving events like these bring together all the people with the same passion for the sport. It’s an opportunity to share training regimes and learn new tips from some of the best freedivers in the world, for Tiger it was his 2nd big event, meeting his fellow freediving buddies.
Day 1 of the competition was DNF (Dynamic no fins) discipline, this is not our strongest discipline, 2 years ago in DNF I got a red card for not completing the dive. This year my first priority was get a nice clean dive with white card. With a positive attitude we managed to do our personal bests on the day and that give us the motivation and strong focus to continue to simply do our best. Shirley managed to complete her 100m dive and I finished a 124m dive with a white card.
Day 2 DYN (Dynamic with fins) Our strongest dives with fins, Shirley was diving first and as her coach I always get nervous, especially since the last few weeks of training did not go go according to the plan. We really did not know how the dives would go or how mentally and physically our bodies were ready for big swims. With that inmind we set our new goals and again with bit of luck we secured another 2 white cards, Shirley with her second pb 125m and me 178m dives which made us really happy and satisfied.
Day 3 and last day of qualifications, STA (Satatic breathold), 2 months ago this was our strongest discipline but now after both of us getting ill and training days cut by half we did not really know what was going to happen but we felt positive and strong, we dived and achieved white cards but both felt that we given up earlier than we would have liked!
That being the last discipline done, we both rushed to a local caff to get a delicious coffee, I really like coffee and had not been drinking it for some time, it was a treat and we were looking forward to it 🙂 Siting down and having a massive lunch, during which we discovered that by some magical way we had secured ourselves each a place in the finals – we now had one more chance to dive!!
Over the next 2 days we spent watching the finals with great performances from all the divers and fellow team members .
Alice Hickson our GB team member secured her place on the podium with a first place prize in DNF with a massive dive of 174m.
On day 2 of the finals unexpected weather conditions made the dive an extra challenge, with rain and cold, the final dives went in all directions with divers even abandoning they dives but as usual when some people fail in their attempts other divers succeed and complete their dives with great distances. This year our friend George Panagiotakis secured his gold medal with a performance of 280m dive on one single breath of air- amazing!!
Last day of the Championships, our last performance in static, and with us both competing at almost same time we had to ask our colleagues to babysit Tiger and to coach us. (Chris Marshall & Jason Kirkpatrick) With their help we succeeded in our dives and achieved our new pb in static with 7:08 min for me and Shirley 6:00 min.
We’d like to congratulate all of our Team members with their amazing dives and achievements, BFA (British Freediving Association) for organizing all the sponsorship and media coverage for this events and our sponsors who made this all possible. (Diveshangha, Beetit, BounceBalls, MuscleSolutions, CherryActive, MartinTaylor Costumes, Ware Lido, Hoddesdon Sub-Aqua Dive Club) Joan & Jim Turner, Jill Western, Heather Conlon, Nigel Roper, Cherry Campbell, Julien Roman, Maisy Luk, Marcin Sipowicz, Jeremy Lay, Ruth Marnitz, Sam Tylor, Ginny Keneddy, Eadaoin Flynn, Joanna Ratcliffe, Justin Walsh-Newton, Stephan Whelan, George Stoyle, Benedicte Philipphon.
You can follow British Freediving Team and some of our performances on: