A few mumbled words have cost freediver Kathryn Nevatt dearly in her final attempt at breaking an underwater distance world record.
The Martinborough architect, who can go without breathing for more than seven minutes, emerged from the pool right on the 160 metre record mark, but then failed to complete the proper ''surface protocol''.
''She's got 15 seconds to show the sign for OK plus say the words 'I am OK','' said Los Angeles-based judge Grant Graves, who flew to Masterton to adjudicate the attempts.
''She gave the sign alright but she mumbled the words, she kind of said 'I'm mmma'.''
That signalled to Graves a brief loss of consciousness for Nevatt, who he once again showed the red-card after two previous disqualifications.
''It was a good effort, a great swim,'' he said.
Today was Nevatt's fifth attempt in six days to break the women's freediving world record in the dynamic apnoea without fins, set in Denmark in 2009 by Russian Natalia Molchanova.
Unofficially she already has, with a swim of 163 metres.
Nevatt said she pushed herself to her limit today.
''I pretty much should have come up about two metres earlier but because it was my last attempt I stayed down.''
While she was disappointed not to break the record she was pleased to finish the year as the world number one in her discipline.
''It's been really overwhelming, the amount of public support.
''I've never seen so much support, even at the World Champs.''
She would continue to try and break the record in the future, she said.
Graves said he had no doubt Nevatt had the ability to break the record.
''She'll get there ... she kicked ass.''
- The Dominion Post
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