Sunday, December 1, was a memorable day for the fans of underwater sports. It was the day when the first free-diving championship was held in the Republic of Moldova. It was called “A Gulp of Air”. How long can you stay under water?” It was organized by the sports social network Sporter.md in conjunction with the Federation of Underwater Activities in Moldova and the fitness club Niagara.
The tournament was held in the fitness club Niagara, in one of the best swimming pools in Chisinau, and was attended by 28 brave men and women. By the way, the oldest participant was 61 years old! We are talking about Liubov Metlova, the winner of the table tennis tournament “Sporter Weekend. Ping-Pong Day” which was held last week.
The competitive disciplines included static apnea and dynamic apnea. In other words, athletes hold their breath underwater in static position and swimming distance on a single breath hold. Before the beginning of the competition each participant was given 30 minutes to prepare and the athletes’ start numbers were decided by a draw.
Finally, the competition began! The first discipline was static apnea.
It so happened that the 6th participant Vadim Boldetsky demonstrated very impressive results – 4 minutes 34 seconds underwater without breathing! It seemed impossible to beat him. The 51-year-old Vadim Zhurov stayed underwater for more than 4 minutes, but he still didn’t manage to beat the best result of Vadim Boldetsky.
The most interesting things started happening when the 19th participant Dmitri Voloshin entered the water. The athlete submerged his head and the stopwatch was started. After 4 minutes everyone was watching Dmitri with bated breath. 4 minutes 30 seconds … 31-32-33-34-35 …!And finally he beat the previous leader! All eyes were glued to the athlete’s body that was floating relaxedly on the surface of the water. The supervising safety diver tapped the athlete on the shoulder. Dmitri responded by sticking the index finger up which meant that everything was OK. Dmitri continued to hold his breath. In the meantime, the stopwatch showed that over 5 minutes had already gone by…5 minutes 20 seconds, 5 minutes 25 seconds, 5 minutes 29 seconds. After 5 minutes 29 seconds 16 milliseconds Dmitry Voloshin emerged from the water and gave an OK sign to the judges. The result was accepted. After a brief moment of silence, a storm of applause broke out. Curtain down!
It is needless to say that nobody managed to beat Dmitri Voloshin and he won the well-deserved first place!
We should also mention the results of Andrei Ogorodnikov, Vasili Kirchioglo and Andrei Shushvalyuk who stayed under water in static position for more than 3 minutes as well as Igor Myakinin, Vladimir Balandin Mokryak and Gleb Tsugui who held their breath for nearly 3 minutes. And of course, we appreciate the efforts made by other participants who deserve praise for their courage to take part in a competition like this.
After a short break, the athletes started competing in dynamic apnea. This time the athletes competed in pairs and the distance was measured with the use of a metered tape stretched along the edge of the pool. And again the winner was Dmitri Voloshin! After his success in static apnea, his 110,5 swim was no surprise to anyone. Second place was taken by Vadim Zhurov with the result of 100 meters and third place went to Igor Myakinin– 89 meters. Five participants took fourth place: Dmitri Kirilov, Andrei Shushvalyuk, Adrian Negru, Nikita Danich and Alexei Terzi. We should also mention the result of Gleb Tsugui who was able to swim 66 meters without fins.
In the women’s competition the best results were performed by Anna Dashkevich (1 minute 11 seconds, static apnea) and Tatiana Ursu (40 meters, dynamic apnea).
The winners received gifts from the stores X-Style and Invito, as well as from the Federation of Underwater Activities in Moldova. Invito presented the winner’s certificates which can be used to purchase Atlantic swimming trunks. And the store X-Style awarded the winners with gift certificates worth 1250 lei.
We’d like to thank the inspirer of the event- the Federation of Underwater Activities in Moldova– for helping us organize this competition, the fitness club Niagara for providing the swimming pool and creating a comfortable environment for the participants, the stores Invito and X-Style for the gifts and the marketing agency Klever-Media for printing banners and posters!