For professional competitors, the Vertical Blue competition is one of the most important and prestigious events of the year. So it should come as no surprise that at this point of the season the form of the leading freedivers is very high. This has translated into four new world records and several national records. And all this on the very first day of competition!
Vertical Blue competitions are held in the legendary Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas. The conditions for starts in individual disciplines are perfect and the atmosphere of the event is very special. Surely all this helps the competitors to present their skills in the best possible way.
He was the first to start with a high C Russian Alexei Molchanov. The athlete from the country of our neighbours dived to a depth of 126 m and set a new men’s world record in the discipline of Free Immersion (FIM). His immersion lasted 4 minutes and 45 seconds.
This result allowed him to beat his own CMAS world record (118m), set at the 2019 CMAS World Championships in Roátan, Honduras, but also beat AIDA world record (125 m), which Alexei set At Vertical Blue 2018. No doubt it was a very successful start for the Russian, who announced that he had come to win the whole competition.
The second record holder of the day was Frenchman Arnaud Jerald, who set a new world record in the constant weight double fin (CWT-BF) competition. The athlete reached a depth of 116 metres and his dive lasted 3 minutes and 30 seconds. After surfacing, Jerald felt very comfortable and allowed himself a small joke by presenting a depth marker to the judges.
No less interesting was the women’s competition. Italian Alessia Zecchini presented herself in a great way, breaking the women’s world record in constant weight (CWT) diving. The freediver reached a depth of 115m, but she was not able to enjoy the victory. All because of a fantastic performance by Slovenian Alenka Artnik. The athlete made a great dive to 118m, which gave her the victory. It is worth noting that she thus very quickly took the world record from the hands of Zecchini, who moments earlier had beaten her last year’s result of 114 metres.
I really enjoyed my new world record for the few minutes I had it! – – exclaimed Zecchini, laughing and congratulating Artnik
Alenka Artnik performed her incredible dive to a depth of 118m in a time of 3 minutes and 26 seconds.
Without a doubt, I was very focused today. I didn’t sleep much last night and so I knew I had to stay focused to perform the dive at the right level. As I started, I thought of our dear friend Sayuri Kinoshita and dedicated my dive to her. I dived for Sayuri and because of Sayuri – said Alenka Artnik.
National records were also set during the first day of competition. Alejandro Lemus of Mexico with a dive of 95 metres in the CWT competition. Yun-Chieh Ku of Taiwan with a dive of 101 metres in the FIM. And Kehan Pan of China with a dive of 70 metres in the CWT competition.
Among the women, Talya Davidoff set the South African diving record in the CWTBF (64m), Sahika Ercumen set the Turkish national record (87m) in the CWT and and Isabelle Winner of the Bahamas reached 28m in the FIM.
The Vertical Blue 2021 competition will run until 22 July.
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