Swimmer goes 163m on a single breath
Another stroke and she probably would have passed out, but Kathryn Nevatt has set an unofficial world record after swimming six lengths of a swimming pool under water on a single breath.
The Wairarapa 33-year-old broke the world freediving "dynamic" record at Porirua's Te Rauparaha Arena Aquatic Centre on Saturday morning by swimming 163 metres without surfacing for air.
But she did not get tested for drugs and did not fly in an international judge, so the achievement will only be an unofficial record. However, she would be ranked No 1 in the world.
Nevatt, who has been freediving for eight years, described the sport as "relaxing and physical".
"You have to be relaxed to be able to do it."
The brain uses about 20 per cent of the body's oxygen, so it was important to think as little as possible.
"I was really relaxed and almost in a sleeping state." She said she remembered little of the swim because of her "meditative state".
"I struggled with my technique and nerves in the first two to three lengths.
"I then just told myself to get over it and get on with it.
"Due to some new training techniques, I still felt strong at the end, without the usual lactic buildup and associated fatigue, and was overjoyed to find myself in the middle of the pool at the end of the dive, several metres beyond the world record.”
Making the record attempt in a 25-metre pool - as opposed to the Olympic-regulation 50 metres - was a benefit because she could push off with her legs at each turn.
Competitors who pass out are disqualified.
Nevatt reckoned she would have passed out if she had taken one more stroke, with her vision narrowing.
She now aims to raise the $5000 needed to make an official record attempt.
The National Indoor Freediving Competition is broken into three events: static apnea, involving the longest time holding breath; dynamic apnea involving swimming under water with the use of fins or a monofin; and dynamic without fins, which Nevatt set the record for, which involves swimming underwater without fins, doing a type of breaststroke.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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