British divers Adam Drzazga, Tim Money and Carl Atkinson, with Adam Mustoe in reserve, formed the men’s team, finishing in 8th place at the Freediving World Championships behind winners Czech Republic, second place France and third place Russia.
Georgina Miller and Beci Ryan formed the women’s team, however Beci was unfortunately injured in training and didn’t compete; however, she became a valuable team coach and assisted the organisers. Well experienced at top-level competition, Georgina gave three impressive performances including a new personal record in dynamic on the final day.
These World Championships are a team event, and everyone needs to work together to get a good result. The men’s team discussed a strategy and aimed at good, but not reckless, announcements in their depth dives (known as constant weight). Carl Atkinson, at his first World Championships, dived to 80m and Tim Money to 63m. Adam Drzazga reached 55m but unfortunately got a red card due to a technicality. Georgina Miller reached 51m.
This added some pressure on the men to “go big” in the next event, static apnea, which was Adam’s strongest and the team decided to be more aggressive with his performance to try and claw back some points. Carl achieved 4:57, Tim 5:47 and Georgina 6:31 which put her in 4th place for static amongst the ladies. Unfortunately, the men’s team strategy didn’t work, and resulted in a disqualification for Adam, so the team regrouped and ended in the final event dynamics with strong performances and white cards across both teams – 167m for Tim, 141m for Georgina, 130m for Carl and 123m for Adam.
Despite some setbacks, the British team enjoyed the calm, relaxed and inspirational atmosphere at the event. The race for gold in both sexes gave a nail-biting finish. The Japanese women’s team all pushed themselves to personal records to win gold, followed by the Czech Republic in second and Russia in third. Martin Valenta (CZE) swam 250m dynamic to ensure his men’s team won.
The British freediving team was kindly sponsored by Elios, DiveSangha, Saltfree divers and Orbiloc dive lights.
Photo: Daan Verhoeven