AIDA individual pool world championships 2005
From 26th till 28th august 2005 the first individual AIDA indoor world Freediving championships where held in Renens (Switzerland). Myself and my girlfriend and photographer Patricia Ribas were lucky enough to get selected (myself for all disciplines representing the Netherlands and Patricia doing DYN and STA representing Brazil). We were in good shape after some touch training the weeks before and left by car from the Netherlands already the 20th to acclimatise and get some training in the competition pools. Still thinking the weather would be as it had been for the last weeks (30C) we only packed summer clothes. How stupid we were.........
Turned out that while underway the weather had changed into a national disaster flooding several cities and wiping of the face of the planet some small villages in central Switzerland. Lucky for us Lausanne was sort of spared, but it did rain for 3 days 24hrs/day straight. So we had no choice but to shop for suitable clothes the moment we got there to prevent s from freezing ;-) Anyway on Tuesday morning we managed to get in a good training in clear weather and were ready for action.
Day 0 opening day
Wednesday the official registration and opening took place. By then we had already met lots of our friend and met up with the rest of the competitors. So lots of time for chatting about. The opening itself was a pleasant surprise since it resembled a bit (in a mini form) an Olympic opening ceremony, including a parade with flags trough the town centre , national anthems of all competing teams and a speech of the major of Renens.
The evening dinner was a bit limited but was to be expected with the small entrance fee. (We all agreed it would have been better to raise the entrance fee and get a big dinner instead). We left early to get some serious sleep in. Didn't work and a sleepless night (nerves, jitters etc) was unavoidable. It felt real. It felt big.
Day 1 Dynamic with Fins Day
Later after checking the video I found out why. My finning technique was looking bad. Too much knee action. Must have been the excitement. Anyway a good result.
but became a victim of the new surface protocol. When removing her mask the floater she was leaning on slipped away and her mouth hit the water >> disqualified. The rest of the qualification heat was very exiting to watch.
and first Tom Sietas with 208 meters , who just in time managed to pull himself out of a samba ;-)
The women? s final was no less exciting. Natalia Molchanova blew away all competition with an amazing new world record of 178 meters !! followed by the newcomer Suzy Kensington with 159 meters and closing of with Johanna Nordblad with 150 meters.
Patricia pushed herself right to the limit for hat day and managed a clean 3:50min. A little below her PB of 4:17 but considering the tension of the event a good performance.
and Veronica Dittes took silver medal with 7:00 min followed after a full minute by Johanna Nordblad with 6:06min.
The men? s final was won by Sam Still with 8:15 followed by Timo Kinnunen with 7:53min and Wolfram Neugebauer with 7:07min.
Big surprise was current WR holder Tom Sietas , who did not make it to the finals. Right at the start of his qualifying static he had a small packing blackout under water because of which he lost almost all his air. He quickly gave an ok sign and continued with almost empty lungs to an amazing but insufficient 6:13min !!!!
followed by Johanna Nordblad's 106 meter
and our own Dutch hope Renate de Bruin with 100 meters.
Her son got second place with 131 meters in a beautiful mathematical perfect swimming style
, right afters Stig Severinsen's easy looking 165 meters
and before Wolfram Neugebauers 124 meters. Another strange surprise especially for the organisers was that in the opener of the women? s finals 2 women swam more than the world record. Both Tania Streeter and Susie Kensington , who did not make the finals) did around 120 meters !!!.
Big discussions for the organisers and AIDA judges what to do about this. In the end they made the right decision to count them as national records and not as world records since they were not part of the official competition. This makes sense since in the real competition the tension level is much higher, which influences your performances negatively. Without pressure most people perform much better.
Anyway a great ending to a great competition, where we had lots of fun as well as excitement and met lots of new and lots of old friends. Let? s hope we can be part of next year? s event as well& &
Greetzzzz and love,
Check out the foto gallery at Glenn's freediving gallery for lots more pictures of this competition.