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Freedivers strong contenders at World Championship

Kiwi freedivers strong contenders at World Championship

1st September 2008 for immediate release

New Zealand Freedivers William Trubridge, Dave Mullins and Ant Williams are one of the international teams capable of claiming gold at the Freediving Team World Championships, due to kick off in Egypt later this week.

The team, selected earlier in the year to represent New Zealand, have been preparing for the event in the deep waters of the Gulf of Aqaba over the past week, following months of pool-based training. They expect tough competition from the French and Czechoslovakian teams, both of which are headed by international stars in the sport. In a sport traditionally dominated by the Europeans, the New Zealand team must deliver outstanding performances across 10 days of competition to secure the number one spot.

Freediving is a breathhold sport in which the athlete swims attempts either maximum depth (in the sea) or horizontal distance (in a pool) on a single breath of air. Most recently Mullins added a second world record to his name in the sport, swimming 213m without fins in a 25m pool on a single breath of air. It is one of five freediving world records currently held by NZ.

In a team competition each athlete must compete in three disciplines: Constant Weight, where the athlete must dive to depth and return using fins or a monofin; Dynamic Apnea which is maximum distance swum underwater in a pool; and Static Apnea which is a timed breathhold, the athlete lying face down in the water.

"The guys are feeling very good about the event and are happy with their training so far which has given them some good results while acclimatising to the heat and conditions in Egypt" said Joy Cottle, Board member for AIDA NZ, the governing body for Freediving in New Zealand. "Our athletes are used to diving in temperatures much cooler than what they are experiencing in Egypt at present. They typically prefer the warmer conditions, however the extreme heat means they must make changes to their dive and preparation techniques.

Dehydration is a critical issue that the athletes must take into consideration." The competition commences on Wednesday with the Constant Weight discipline being held near the coast of Sharm el Sheikh.


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