Nasser Obaid Al Razzi, Branko Petrovic set new records in static apnea event
Dubai, 9 March 2014: The Fazza Championship for Freediving witnessed a spectacular display of skill and endurance from UAE nationals and visiting international contestants in the static apnea event at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai.
Serbian freediver Branko Petrovic recorded a time of 9.36 minutes and won the first place in the professionals’ category, while UAE national Nasser Obaid Al Razzi recorded a time of 5.28 minutes and won first place in the GCC and UAE nationals’ category. Meanwhile, Mohammed Khalid Al Hammady won first place in the juniors’ category recording a time of 2.5 minutes.
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 Championship is regarded as one of the most elite freediving championships in the world and divers spend months training in the run-up to the event.
An ecstatic Branko Petrovic who has participated in the Championship twice before said: “I am thrilled to have won this year. The level of this championship keeps improving every year both in terms of the level of organisation and the quality of the contestants.
“I performed very well in the qualifying round last year but did not win. I am that thrilled that my training and hard work has finally paid off and that I achieved what I came here to do.”
The Fazza Championship for Freediving is different from the conventional form of static apnea and is modelled on the traditional technique of pearl diving which requires contestants to hold their breath at a depth of 4 meters underwater with the help of a rope.
Hamad Al Rahoumi – Head of Committee, Fazza Championship for Freediving added: “The Championship lived up to its reputation of being an elite sporting event and it is encouraging to see a growing interest from GCC and UAE nationals. The competition witnessed a 40 per cent increase in overall participation since last year, a sign that its repute is travelling far and wide. ”
Souad Darwish, Director of Championships said: “The curtains have come down on yet another successful championship organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center. We are particularly happy that a separate category for GCC and UAE nationals is encouraging more people to compete and we hope to see an even bigger turnout next year.”
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.