August 9, 2019
On the second day of the CMAS World Championship in Roatan, Honduras, Alenka Artnik successfully reached her announced depth and returned back to surface with a white cloth in her hand to prove it. Only ten minutes later Artnik’s success was repeated by Alessia Zecchini. The two competitors now share the World Championship Gold as well as the World Record in constant weight, the so-called royal discipline of freediving, which allows any fin technique (competitors usually opt for monofin) two rope pulls (at the bottom and at the top) and no weight removal on the way back to the surface.
In the Diveye livestream of the competition the two winning dives of the women were wonderfully reported by Samo Jeranko, who just a bit earlier elegantly dived to 108 metres, earning a bronze which he shares with American diver Daniel Koval. The competition was won by the incredible Alexey Molchanov, who dived to the World Record depth of 125 metres, while Andey Matveenko was in the second place with 115 metres, both from Russia.
Another Slovenian diver, Neža Cec, was set to dive to 74 metres, but she turned back at 62 metres. As the second part of the competition was taking place from two platforms with only one Diveye available, Neža’s dive wasn’t filmed under water.
Diveye, an underwater camera that follows the diver into the depths and streams real-time footage to the surface and online, was first tested in 2017. This innovation has finally opened freediving to a global audience, which until very recently was not really a spectator sport. This is perhaps the reason why such an exciting event has been live streamed on Facebook instead of being shown by the national broadcaster. Nevertheless, curiosity about the rules and excitement expressed by many of the 38,000 viewers suggests this might soon change.
Footage from the Championship’s is available here, Samo Jeranko dives at about 1:00:00, Alenka Artnik at about 1:21:00 and is followed by Alessia Zecchini, Andrey Matveenko and Alexey Molchanov.
The competition is not over yet. What remains is the constant weight bifins discipline on Saturday, August 10. The discipline is similar to monofin, only that the efficient dolphin move is not allowed. The current World Record holder for women is Alenka Artnik at 92 metres.