Serbian records time of 9.47 minutes in the static apnea event
Dubai, 7 March 2014: The Fazza Championship for Freediving witnessed its most successful qualifying round with several world champions descending on the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai to compete in the static apnea event.
Organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, the Championships have attracted world champion freedivers in the past including Russian national Alexey Molchanova and Croatian national Goran Colak, both of whom competed this year and recorded scores of 7.02 minutes and 8.17 minutes in the qualifying round.
Serbian national Branko Petrovic, who attended the Fazza Championship for the second year set a qualifying record of 9.47 minutes. He resurfaced from a depth of 4 meters to rousing applause from the audience. Branko currently holds three world records in freediving and his new time has broken the previous Fazza record of 9 minutes.
“I am very happy to have set a new record in the Fazza Championship. It reflects that I have been training very hard for this competition. I am grateful to Fazza for his continual support of this sport and I hope to perform to the best of my ability at the finals on Saturday.”
Approximately 70 freedivers competed in the event including GCC and Emirati nationals and women. UAE national Nasser Obaid Al Razzi recorded a time of 6.12 minutes.
This competition is different from the conventional form of static apnea. Modelled on the traditional technique of pearl diving, the Fazza Championship for Freediving uses a rope that divers must hold on to while underwater.
Hamad Al Rahoumi – Head of Committee, Fazza Championship for Freediving said: “The competition this year has attracted some of the most elite freedivers and we expect that the finals will be a closely fought contest. This year, the Championship has attracted women freedivers for the very first time, including Natalia Molchanova and Marina Kazankova. We are thrilled that they have chosen the Fazza Championship to showcase their abilities. A delegation from the Kuwait Youth and Sports Ministry also visited the Championship and were impressed with the high level of organisation. ”
Souad Darwish, Director of Championships added: “The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center was founded to revive Emirati heritage and we are pleased that participating contestants appreciate the rules of the Championship and are enthusiastic to compete in an unconventional but more challenging form of freediving.”
10 contestants will qualify for the Championship finals on Saturday in the professionals’ category and in the category for GCC and Emirati nationals and the juniors’ category.
Freediving is a highly skilled and strenuous sport that demands the highest level of mental and physical stamina from competing divers. Contestants have to dive several meters underwater with no diving gear or equipment and hold their breath for as long as they can. Now in its 7th edition, the Fazza Championships for Freediving is open to GCC and Emirati nationals, expatriates and visiting contestants.