Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)
180m DNF British Record & set at AIDA World Championships in Finland
On Saturday 2 July, Alice Hickson broke yet another national record, in the A-Final at the Individual AIDA Pool World Championships in Turku, Finland, swimming 180m without fins on one lungful of air (over 7 lengths of a 25m pool) and winning a silver medal. Alice held the previous British record of 174m, set at last year’s World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, for which she won a gold medal. The 180m swim was a personal best for Alice and was just meters short of the winning World Record dive of 185m by Magdalena Solich of Poland. This record marks a fifth for Hickson in a freediving career of just eighteen months!
Alice had this to say of her performance: “I felt more nervous than usual maybe because of other people’s expectations and yesterday wasn’t the best preparation, but I had a little word with myself and reminded myself that it’s not about the numbers of anyone else, just enjoy the dive and come up clean! And it’s still early days this is just the beginning of my freediving journey.”
Two World Records were also broken in the DNF World Championship A-Finals, both by Polish Freedivers, Magdalena Solich and Mateusz Malina, and both spectacular performances and strong. Magdalena swam 185m breaking Natalia Molchanova of Russia’s World record of 182m, set at the AIDA Pool World Championships in Belgrade in 2013. Natalia’s presence at World Championship events is sorely missed she was one of the most loved and revered freedivers to grace the sport of freediving. The icing on the cake for Poland came when Mateusz Malina broke his own World Record of 232m set just a few days earlier, swimming 244m (that’s over 9 lengths of a 25m pool).
For the first time ever in the history of the sport of freediving, people at home could watch the event unfold moment by moment with live streaming and commentary by Carla Hanson (AIDA International President) and Antero Joki (Finnish Freediver & AIDA International Technical Officer). This potentially marks a new era for competitive freediving.
Picture Credit: Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)
Alice swam 200m on one breath & is through to A-Finals
On Wednesday 29 June at the Individual AIDA Pool World Championships in Finland, Alice Hickson swam 200m on one breath of air using a monofin (that’s 4 lengths of an olympic size swimming pool), breaking the British dynamic national record by 14m. The previous record, 186m, was held by Rebecca Coales set on 29 November 2014 in Stockport.
Asked about how she was feeling before the swim or if she had any expectations or goals in mind, Alice had this to say:
“I just went with the same old get in and do my best, come up clean, that’s all I can do. I didn’t have a number in mind, it’s only my 3rd ever top in dynamic. I just wanted to come up clean as I knew my mum might be watching on the live stream! During the dive I was thinking about the huge Waterpark next to the pool which were going to go play on in a bit.”
Impressively, Alice now holds all three pool discipline national records: in competition she has held her breath for 6 minutes 58 seconds, swam 174m with no fins and now 200m with a monofin. Alice has been freediving for less than two years and burst onto the scene in style last year’s Pool World Championships in Serbia when she won a gold medal and title of World Champion, a bronze medal and broke 3 national records. Not bad going for competing at her second ever competition!
The Pool World Championship in Finland is not over yet – athletes compete in the three pool freediving disciplines: static apnea, dynamic no fins and dynamic. The qualifying heats are now complete and Alice has won a place in all three of A-Finals which is quite a feat – it shows what an all-round athlete in the pool she is. The A-Finals will start on Friday 1 July and finish on Sunday 3 July.
The competition will run from 25th June to 3rd July and we are sending a team of 5 athletes, two of whom hold Wild Cards* (which means they ranked top ten in the world for one or more of the three pool competition disciplines), they are: Alice Hickson*, Georgina Miller*, Lucelle Simms, for the women and Philip Fennell and Mark Gooding for the men. Also, Andy Jardine is taking up an important role of the team coach and captain for the event.
Last year’s World Championships in Belgrade saw Alice win two medals (gold in Dynamic No Fins and bronze in Static) and other UK athletes qualify for the final stages of the event. The BFA is confident this year’s team will perform to the best of their abilities and we wish them well.
The UK Team are all self-funded and to help them perform their very best they are being generously supported by Divesangha (www.divesangha.com).
Divesangha (www.divesangha.com) is made up of designers based in London; they are motivated by passion, uniqueness, innovation and a love for the sea. The word “sangha” means “association” or “community” in Pali and Sanskrit. They design and create basic, easy to wear clothes that give divers a proper identity. They call it “divewear” or “surface gear” and the designs mix fashion and sportswear, using functional fabrics and neutral colours. They manufacture ethically and locally, trade fairly, design wisely and consume responsibly. The divewear clothes are made in the UK as an exclusive, limited edition and they don’t use any plastic bags in their packaging when you buy from the website. This is the first time that Divesangha have sponsored the UK Team, we are delighted to have them on-board and the athletes will be proud to wear their surface gear!
Would you like to sponsor the UK Team? If so please visit our website for more information, or contact our Sponsorship Officer Jay Cluskey: email@example.comThe BFA are delighted to introduce the UK Team for the 2016 Individual AIDA Pool World Championship in Turku, Finland (www.aidafinland.org).