INDEPENDENT NEWS

New Zealand Freediver Sets New World Record

Published: Fri 21 Sep 2007 04:43 PM
New Zealand Freediver Sets New World Record
Today Wellington freediver Dave Mullins set a new World Record by swimming 226 metres in a swimming pool on one breath.
During an international competition in Wellington's Naenae pool, Mullins (26) used a monofin to officially beat the previous World Record distance of 225 metres held by Danish freediver Stig Avril Severinson.
The swim took Mullins 3:42 minutes to complete which he described as "difficult and uncomfortable." This is the second World Record for Mullins. His first was in the sport of spearfishing where he holds the World Record for the largest stripped marlin ever shot (2004). Few New Zealand athletes have ever managed to achieve concurrent World Records across different sports.
Earlier this year Mullins set a new national freediving record and became the fifth man ever to reach 100m in a constant weight freedive in the ocean. It took him 3.43 minutes and Mullins experienced severe nitrogen narcosis, a condition usually reserved for deep scuba divers.
This weekend's event marks the first time New Zealand has hosted a freediving competition with A level international judges. Athletes breaking world records will have their performances officially ratified over the next three days. Each athlete will be judged on how long they can hold their breath underwater and by how far they can swim on a single breath.
Top performers from this event will strengthen their selection chances to compete for New Zealand at the Teams World Championships held next year in Europe.
Although freediving is a young sport here, New Zealand has produced a number of world class freedivers. Last year William Trubridge of Napier became the first New Zealander to hold a world record in freediving when he swam down to 82 meters without the assistance of fins.
Auckland based freedive educational company No Bubbles is organising the event.
Competition starts at 9am each morning with athletes competing in the underwater swimming disciplines. Static (pure) breathhold events will run each afternoon from 1pm.
Media are welcome to attend the event and divers will be available for interviews.
ENDS

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