Fadhil Yunus & Daniel Lim
Chasing new depths was a challenge that two free-diving athletes from Brunei Darussalam had to face in the recent Free-Diving Depth Competition at Mactan in Cebu Island, the Philippines.
Led by Faiz Shahminan, an instructor and the founder of free-diving group Apnealogic, Mila Haziman bin Haji Lazim and Suryati binti Anyut were able to achieve a new national record in the Constant Weight Bifin (CWTB), with a recorded depth of 44m for both males and females.
The competition featured 17 athletes from across the world, including Syria, Canada, Korea, China, Brunei and the Philippines.
“Free-diving is an extreme sport that has grown in popularity over the last few years. It’s a sport that solely depends on the individual’s mental endurance, plus efficient management of air consumption and physical movement to execute each dive,” said Suryati.
Unlike scuba diving, there are no tanks, and each diver is required to dive in one breath. The world record for the deepest dive in Constant Weight (CWT) is at 130 metres deep by Alexey Molchanov from Russia. Mila Haziman said that while the training went without any hitch, last-minute jitters started to kick in a day before the competition.
“I was even hesitant announcing 44 meters as my AP (announced performance) before my actual dive, but with the support of my coach, teammates and especially my wife, I braved myself to try 44 metres,” he said.
He thanked all who supported him throughout the competition, saying, “It goes to show that everyone in the free-diving community is willing to exchange ideas, knowledge and experience – all to support each other, as we continue to push ourselves to ever deeper goals.”
The accomplishment has been officially recorded by the International Association for the Development of Apnea.