Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023

Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023

Kuwait 2023

Asya Kleshchevnikova, Sports Columnist
Head of Customer Service & International Sales


Kristina Zvaritch

1. Preview of the World Championship
2. Competition Day 1 (May 9)
2.1 Starting protocols for DNF and Speed 2x50
2.2 Official results for DNF and Speed 2x50
3. Competition Day 2 (May 10)
3.1 Starting protocols for DYN-BF and Speed 4x50
3.2 New Female World Record in DYN-BF
3.3 New Male World Record in DYN-BF
3.4 Official results for DYN-BF and Speed 4x50
4. Competition Day 3 (May 11)
4.1 Starting protocols for STA and Speed 8x50
4.2 Official results for STA and Speed 8x50
5. Competition Day 4 (May 12)
5.1 Starting protocols for DYN
5.2 Official results for DYN

Preview of the World Championship


On May 8, 2023, the Freediving World Indoor Championship Kuwait 2023 begins with a traditional opening ceremony. The World Championship is the highest level of all freediving competitions. In these next four competition days (May 9 - 12), athletes will show off their achievements after year-long training sessions.


This year, the World Championship will take place in Kuwait for the first time. It’s a unique location with a special connection to underwater activities. As a state on the bank of the Persian Gulf, Kuwait has a predominantly desert landscape with a 500km (311 miles) long coastline. From the 17th to 20th century (before huge oil fields were found in the Persian Gulf), Kuwaiti citizens were diving for pearls as a means to live. CMAS - Kuwait President Talal Alsarhan sees freediving as a sport that is a continuation of this Kuwaiti tradition.

Pool conditions and competition schedule

The competition will occur in Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Aquatics Complex in a 50m pool with eight lanes. Athletes will compete in seven disciplines according to CMAS rules (to learn more about CMAS and their competition rules and disciplines, check out International Freediving Federations You Need to Know: CMAS vs. AIDA).

The official schedule of the Championship is as follows:

  • May 9: DNF and Speed 2x50
  • May 10: DYN-BF and Speed 4x50
  • May 11: STA and Speed 8x50
  • May 12: DYN

An awards ceremony will be held at the end of each day. At the end of the Championship, there will be an official closing ceremony and the unofficial afterparty (however, alcohol is prohibited by law in Kuwait).

Doping control will be arranged according to CMAS and WADA regulations.

Competing athletes

This year, 153 athletes from 36 countries have announced their participation in the Championship. After a year of uncertainty regarding who will be competing due to the war in Ukraine, athletes from Russia and Belarus are now allowed to compete again under a neutral flag. Kateryna Sadurska (UKR) wrote on her Instagram account that, because of this, the Ukrainian Freediving Federation and the Ministry of Sports are boycotting this competition. Kateryna is a former synchronized swimmer and AIDA DYNB Vice-World Champion 2022; she would have been a strong contender for medals this year. We’re sorry to miss out on seeing her performances this year.

The current CMAS World record holder in DYN and DYN-BF - Mirela Kardašević (CRO), also called off her participation in the Championship. At the end of April, Mirela wrote on Instagram that she suffered severe food poisoning that resulted in extreme inflammation in her body. Fortunately, she’s now reported that she’s feeling better and has resumed training. We hope to see her competing at depth championships later this year.

We’re still unsure if Mateusz Malina (POL) will be competing in this year’s Championship. The athlete set an outstanding CMAS World Record in DYN in the 2022 Championship with a jaw-dropping performance of 321.43m (1,055ft). However, in a recent Instagram post, Mateusz informed his followers that he was ill and had suffered weight loss. It’ll be sad news for freediving fans everywhere not to see Mateusz compete this year.

But we cannot forget the good news! Current multiple world record holders Julia Kozerska (POL), Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL), Guillaume Bourdila (FRA), and Branko Petrović (SRB) are coming to Kuwait. We’re looking forward to seeing their performances and those of the brave freedivers who dare to compete against them for the medals.

What’s next?

Each day of the Championship, we’ll tell you about the most anticipated performances and will try to predict the winners so you don't miss out on historic dives. We'll also post official links to the online broadcasts so you can find them easily. If you don't have time to watch the broadcast - don't worry! We'll watch for you and write detailed reports on all the notable performances.

We’ll also celebrate the achievements of Molchanovs ambassadors with special offers for our customers!

So stay tuned and make sure you don't miss our updates about the Championship.

If you want more information on freediving competitions and how to watch them to get ready for this year’s Championship, make sure you check our competition guides:

International Freediving Federations You Need to Know: CMAS vs. AIDA
How to Make Sense of a Freediving Competition Broadcast
Current CMAS and AIDA Freediving World Records

Competition Day 1 (May 9)

Starting protocols for DNF and Speed 2x50


The first competition day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023 is here.

The Setup

On May 9, 2023, athletes will compete in the most challenging discipline - DNF. In this discipline, athletes swim underwater as far as possible without fins and on one breath, using just the power of their muscles and mind.

CMAS recognizes world records in DNF set in 25m and 50m pools as two different world records. Theoretically, it may be easier to swim in 25m pools without fins because there are more pushes off the wall for the same distance. However, World Championships are usually held in 50m pools. That may be why the current CMAS DNF World Records in 50m pools are higher than in 25m pools.

This Championship is no exception and is held in a 50m pool.

Top 3 men

The sequence of starts is arranged according to the previous personal bests (PBs) of the athletes from the least to the greatest distance. This means that Mateusz Malina (POL), the current absolute world record holder in DNF with an official PB of 250m (820ft) reached according to AIDA rules, will swim last. At the same time, on the neighboring lanes with Mateusz, the current CMAS World Record Holder in DNF, Guillaume Bourdila (FRA), and his closest rival, Vanja Peleš (HRV), will also be performing. Guillaume's official PB is 236m (774ft) and Vanja's is 227.3m (746ft). However, Vanja reached his current PB in the 2022 Championship, which brought him the silver medal. At that same competition, Guillaume reached 210.7m (691ft) and became the official third in the discipline. Who would you place your bets on today?

Top 3 men DNF

We don't dare predict which of these three top athletes will win - but we do know that the race will be intense. Make sure you don't miss it!

Olivier Elu (FRA) and Ming Jin (CHN) may easily steal a medal if one of these athletes gets a red or yellow card.

Top 3 women

In the last lap, the strongest woman will perform among the strongest men. Julia Kozerska (POL) is the current absolute world record holder in DNF. She reached her official PB of 210.8m (692ft) in the 2022 Championship and is now the main contender for the gold medal. But it won't be an easy medal for Julia as she is closely followed by her teammate Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL). Magdalena's official PB in DNF and AIDA World Record of 209m (686ft) is just 1.8m (6ft) less than Julia's.

Top 3 women DNF

Would you take the risk of betting? We wouldn't. We'll hold our breaths for both of these women!

Mirela Kardašević (HRV), last year’s DNF Vice-Champion, isn't present at this competition. So, three athletes will compete simultaneously for the bronze medal. All of them have very close previous results and took 4th - 6th places in 2022: Hinatea Penilla (FRA) with 166.17m (545ft), Gemma Catala (ESP) with 165.2m (542ft), and Livia Bregonzio (ITA) with 159.2m (522ft).

When to turn on the broadcast

The broadcast can be watched via this link:

The fate of medals between the women will be decided at:

11:46 a.m. - Gemma Catala (ESP) and Hinatea Penilla (FRA)
11:56 a.m. - Livia Bregonzio (ITA)
12:26 p.m. - Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL)
12:36 p.m. - Julia Kozerska (POL)

The strongest men will dive at:

12:06 p.m. - Boris Milošić (HRV) and Ming Jin (CHN)
12:16 p.m. - Aliaksandr Zaikin (CMAS)
12:26 p.m. - Olivier Elu (FRA)
12:36 p.m. - Mateusz Malina (POL), Guillaume Bourdila (FRA), and Vanja Peleš (HRV)

Speed discipline

In the Championship schedule, we noticed a discipline - Speed 2x50. It’s a finswimming discipline where an athlete swims 50m two times as fast as possible. The main difference between this and dynamic disciplines is that an athlete can rest and breathe between the two laps. However, organizers didn't post a start list for this discipline, so we'll have to watch the broadcast to see who will be the fastest athlete.

Let the show begin!

Official results for DNF and Speed 2x50


The highly-anticipated first competition day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023 ended up being an exceptionally poor broadcast. There was no underwater shooting, English commentating, or announcing of athletes and online results. We’re sorry for the athletes who trained an entire year for the event and couldn’t have their sponsors, fans, and followers watch their performances.

Therefore, we don't have much news to share except for the essential information that can be taken from official protocols with results.

Winners among the men

As we mentioned above, the leading contenders for medals were diving in the last (26th) heat, where a current world record holder was swimming on each of the four lanes.

Vanja Peleš (HRV), the current CMAS World Record holder in DNF in a 25m pool of 220.7m (724ft) and a previous personal best (PB) in a 50m pool of 227.3m (746ft), completed his attempt first at 100m (328ft). Vanja received a white card, so while it was a clean performance, he might just not have been in the right mood for the competition. This made the performance of Paolo Fontana (ITA), who competed in the 24th heat and dived 210.64m (691ft), the third best performance of the Championship. Congratulations on the bronze medal, Paolo!

Meanwhile, on the neighboring lanes, Mateusz Malina (POL), the current absolute world record holder in DNF with PB of 250m (820ft), and Guillaume Bourdila (FRA), the current CMAS World Record Holder with PB of 236m (774ft), fought hard for the gold. Both athletes swam at approximately at the same speed, finished their attempts at approximately the same time, and only 1.28m (4ft) separated first place from second.

Congratulations to the World Champion, Mateusz Malina! And another congratulations to the Vice-Champion, Guillaume Bourdila! It was epic, and we wish we could’ve seen it.

DNF Winners Men

Overall male results

Nenad Pavkovic (SRB) and Karol Karcz (POL) made impressive attempts to dive further than 200m (656ft), but both pushed their limits too far and received red cards for blackouts at 206.90m (679ft) and 203.70m (668ft), respectively. Another attempt to dive more than 200m (656ft) was made by Boris Milošić (HRV). Boris successfully managed a distance of 204.30m (670ft) and landed in fourth place, just one step away from the podium. Good job, Boris!

Other four red cards were given for blackouts, mistakes in the surface protocol, and a late start to Romain Hinfray (FRA), Arnaud Collard (BEL), Martino Valsangiacomo (CHE), and Miloud Agherbi (DZA). We wish better luck to the athletes for next time!

Winners among the women

Among the three women competing for the bronze, Hinatea Penilla (FRA) was the first to leave the race at 162.60m (533ft). It's an impressive result, which could have become 5th place at the Championship if only Hinatea managed the surface protocol successfully. But she did not and received a red card. Good luck next time, Hinatea!

Gemma Catala (ESP) swam in the same heat as Hinatea, but successfully finished several meters further at 168.88m (554ft).

However, Gemma’s position in the rating wasn't clear until the dive of her main rival, Livia Bregonzio (ITA), who performed in the next heat. Fortunately for Gemma, Livia finished her performance several meters before Hinatea's with a solid result of 164.77m (541ft).

Congratulations, Gemma, on the bronze!

In the last two heats, the two great Polish athletes Magdalena Solich-Talanda and Julia Kozerska fought to decide the fate of the World Champion status. Both women have approximately the same results of 209m (686ft) and 210.8m (692ft), respectively.

Magdalena dived first and successfully completed her attempt to 187.10m (614ft). To win the title, Julia needed to swim at least several centimetres further. But Julia, performing in a heat with the strongest men, dived as far as 200m (656ft). Her performance became the fifth best at the Championship among all the athletes, including the men. Among the women, Julia seems to be the first.

Congratulations to the World Champion Julia Kozerska and the Vice-Champion Magdalena Solich-Talanda! These amazing women walked to the podium together for the third year in a row.

DNF Winners Women

Results in Speed 2x50

The speed disciplines are somewhere between finswimming and freediving, and have athletes swim a specific distances with fins as fast as possible. On the first competition day of the Championship in particular, the athletes were supposed to swim 100m (328ft).

Usually, classic freedivers are not very successful in speed disciplines because, in most cases, freedivers need to be relaxed and calm on their dives. This is something that is quite opposite of the speed race.

So finswimmers usually steal the show in the speed disciplines during freediving championships, and this Championship was no exception.

In Speed 2x50 among men, the following athletes won:

1st place - Denis Arzhanov (AIN) - 31.55 (Denis is also the Wolrd Champion in finswimming, Speed 8x50, and Speed 16x50)
2nd place - Mikhail Drozdov (AIN) - 32.30 (also the World Champion in finswimming)
3rd place - Guglielmo Alicicco (ITA) - 33.24

2x50 Winners Men

Among women, the winners are the following athletes:

1st place - Olesia Ermaliuk (AIN) - 37.71
2nd place - Sofia Strelets (AIN) - 38.77
3rd place - Chiara Zaffaroni (ITA) - 40.08

2x50 Winner Women

Congratulations to all the athletes on a successful start to the competition! To the Championship organizers, we send big hopes their way for managing future issues with the online broadcast and a timely publishing of the results. Stay tuned for day 2!

Competition Day 2 (May 10)

Starting protocols for DYN-BF

Let's dive into the second competition day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023.

The Setup

On May 10, 2023, athletes will compete in Dynamic with Bifins. In this discipline, athletes must swim underwater on one breath as far as possible using bifins. The main challenge is that they cannot perform dolphin kicks - according to CMAS rules, dolphin kick leads to penalties and yellow cards.

The start lists for the second day of the Championship are arranged differently in comparison with yesterday’s. The women dive first and the men dive the second half of the day after the break. However, dives within these two groups are still arranged according to previous official personal best (PB) performances of the athletes: from least to greatest distance.

Top 3 women

Among the women, DYNB seems to be less popular. Some strong athletes like World Champion in DNF Julia Kozerska (POL) aren’t competing in this discipline at all.

This year, we’re missing several strong women who usually dive with bifins and show fantastic results in DYNB, including the absolute world record holder in DYNB, Mirela Kardasevis (HRV), who dived 258.5m (848ft) in March 2023 at the Croatian Open Cup (the record has pending status), and Marianna Gillespie (FRA), who dived 228.6m (750ft) at the 2022 Championship and won fourth place.

Therefore, current AIDA World Record Holder in DYNB Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL) with a PB of 248.7m (816ft) shouldn't face any difficulties at winning the gold with a significant gap.

Livia Bregonzio (ITA) and Gemma Vila Catala (ESP) should confidently walk to the podium this year. Last year, they dived to 240.6m (789ft) and 200m (656ft) and won 3rd and 7th places, respectively.

top 3 women DYNB

Top 3 men

On the other hand, the male athletes that are present for competition in DYNB are most of the top athletes in the discipline.

Goran Čolak (HRV) is finally back in the races after a several-year ban due to a doping scandal. The athlete isn’t wasting his time. This year, he has already managed to set a new CMAS World Record in DYNB diving 275.9m (905ft) in the Adriatic Pool Trophy 2023, surpassing the previous world record of 274.70m (901ft) by Guillaume Bourdila (FRA).

The absolute world record in DYNB of an incredible 290m (951ft) belongs to Mateusz Malina (POL). Mateusz reached the distance at the Bluego AIDA Mini Comp 2022 and is now the main contender for the gold.

Guillaume Bourdila is also getting ready to perform. We’re wondering if he’ll try to return to his status as the world record holder in DYNB.

top 3 men DYNB

Make sure you also don't miss the performance of Ming Jin (CHN). Ming is a student of Mateusz Malina, and in the 2022 Championship, he dived 251.7m (826ft) with bifins, winning the bronze medal.

As you can see, the rivalry between the men will be hot; therefore, getting too passionate about chasing a longer distance and making a simple mistake will be too easy. And in this case, there are about ten strong athletes that may be trying their luck at a medal.

When to turn on the broadcast

The broadcast can be watched via this link: 

The fate of medals between the women will be decided at:

10:16 a.m. - Ke Yang (CHN), Lucja Nowowiejski (POL), Fayrouz El Mehdawi (GRE), and Hinatea Penilla (FRA)
10:26 a.m. - Natalia Domashenko (SRB), Gemma Catala (ESP), Livia Bregonzio (ITA), and Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL)

The strongest men will dive at:

14:10 p.m. - Ming Jin (CHN), David Čustić (HRV), Guillaume Bourdila (FRA)
14:20 p.m. - Goran Čolak (HRV) and Mateusz Malina (POL)

Don't miss the show!

New Female World Record in DYN-BF


On May 10, 2023, during the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023, Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL) dived 263.64m (864.96ft) with bifins and set a new absolute World Record in DYN-BF - what an incredible result!

Magdalena Solich-Talanda

2023 fight for the record

Athletes are setting new world records in DYN-BF faster than international organizations can approve them. The previous and still pending absolute world record in DYN-BF of 258.5m (848ft) was set by Mirela Kardašević (CRO) less than two months ago during the Croatian Open Cup in March 2023.

In April 2023, during the Polish National Championship in Dębica, Magdalena swam with bifins to 257.1m (844ft). Her performance also has a pending world record status.

However, Magdalena's new result is more than 4m (13ft) further than all the previous top DYN-BF performances this year, which makes her significantly ahead of her competitors in this discipline.

History of wins

Magdalena has 9 years of experience in freediving since she started training in 2014. After just a year of training, Magdalena won her first bronze medal in the AIDA Pool World Championships for a DNF dive to 146m (479ft).

One year later, at the AIDA Pool World Championship 2016, Magdalena already became the World Champion in DNF and DYN and set her first world record in DNF.

Then in 2018, Magdalena became the first woman in history who reached 200m (656ft) without fins. However, her performance didn't become a world record due to the level of the competition (it wasn't a world record-status competition), but it still became a part of the history of freediving.

Since then, Magdalena, trained by her husband Mateusz Talada, consistently keeps improving the world's best records and gathering champion titles in world championships in three disciplines: DNF, DYN, and lately in DYN-BF.

Congratulations, Magdalena - you are an inspiration!

New Male World Record in DYN-BF

On May 10, 2023, during the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023, (HRV) dived 292.15m (958ft) with bifins and set a new absolute World Record in DYN-BF.

Goran Colak

Return of the champion

Goran’s new record is 2.15m (7ft) greater than the previous DYN-BF absolute world record achieved by Mateusz Malina (POL) in 2022 during Bluego AIDA Mini Comp.

This dive became Goran's first performance in the World Championship since 2019, which is when the athlete faced a major setback in his freediving career. Because of doping accusations, Goran was banned from participating in competition for two years. What a comeback with a new absolute world record! Congratulations, Goran!

Through thorns to new records

Born in Zagreb, Goran has been the champion freediver of Croatia since 2007 - only one year after he started competing as an amateur. Goran started freediving like many of us - as an experiment inspired by the movie Le Grand Bleu (English: The Big Blue). But unlike most beginners, Goran found a real passion for it and immediately excelled in the sport.

He has set 4 AIDA World Records and 13 CMAS World Records in dynamic and depth disciplines. In 2018, during the Fazza Freediving Competition, he won gold in static apnea with 11:06:04 – a competition record.

Goran resumed actively competing in 2023 by starting the year off with the CMAS World Record in DYN-BF of 275.9m (905ft) during The Adriatic Pool Trophy 2023. He now continues the year with an absolute world record in this year’s Championship.

We’re happy to welcome back the great athlete!

Official results for DYN-BF


On the second day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023, athletes competed in DYN-BF. We’re happy to say we correctly predicted 5 out of 6 winners! The biggest surprise for freediving fans wasn't the triumphant comeback of Goran Čolak (HRV) with an absolute world record, nor the other absolute world record from Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL). After all, they are decorated and experienced athletes. The surprise turned out to be the complicated yet successful performance of David Čustić (HRV), who swam further than current CMAS World Record at the time of his performance. Check below for more details.

Winners among the women

The women's competition went on in a straightforward manner and without any unexpected twists. Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL) doesn't have an equal rival in DYN-BF in this Championship. But she came to the competition not only for the Champion title, but also for a new absolute world record. She confidently dived 263.64m (865ft) and left the previous world record holder in DYN-BF, Mirela Kardašević (HRV), more than 5m (16ft) behind. Once again, congratulations on the phenomenal result, Magdalena!

Two other athletes - Livia Bregonzio (ITA) and Gemma Catala (ESP) - dived in the last heat and also successfully completed their attempts to 243.40m (799ft) and 211.00m (692ft), respectively. Congratulations on the silver and bronze medals, Livia and Gemma!

We also must draw your attention to Bilge Çingigiray (TUR). The athlete swam in the 10th heat and finished at 209.48m (687ft). It was the top result among the women until the last heat. Eventually, less than 2m (7ft) separated her from third place. Great performance, Bilge - we hope you will go further next year!

Winners among the men

We expected serious competition among the men but couldn't guess the actual scale of it. Suffice it to say that difference between 2nd and 3rd and between 3rd and 4th places is around only 3m (10ft). And there's only a 12m (39ft) separation between 7th to 15th place. So in total, 12 men successfully dived further than 230m (755ft). Impressive!

But of course, the intrigue spectators were waiting for came during the last heat. The first news arrived before the Top time: the absolute world record holder of the moment, Mateusz Malina (POL), didn't appear to start his performance.

We hope we weren’t alone in thinking that Guillaume Bourdila (FRA), the CMAS World Record holder with an official personal best of 274.70m (901ft), would be the most likely winner. This was because we didn't know what to expect from David Čustić (HRV) and Goran Čolak (HRV), who were both just coming back to competition after a doping-related ban.

Nonetheless, Guillaume finished first at 273.03m (896ft) and received a white card. Then David arrived to the surface with 276.55m (907ft) - a result that already exceeded the previous CMAS World Record. While David struggled with samba at the surface, he managed to keep his airways above the water and complete the surface protocol. White card!

Goran completed his attempt the last. The athlete looked very fresh and relaxed and confidently showed the surface protocol, earning himself a white card. There were several minutes of calculating Goran's result in meters, and then the numbers came in. It was unbelievable - 292m (958ft) and a new absolute world record!

Congratulations to all the athletes - thank you all for a great show and an incredible competition!

Special thanks

We wouldn't have experienced such a wide range of emotions and wouldn't have enjoyed the competition without the online broadcast and English commentating. On the first day of the Championship, the broadcast was missing underwater footage, online results, and an English-speaking commentator. We're grateful to the organizers for fixing most of the issues and we really appreciate the efforts of Brandon Reed in commentating on the competitions and providing the preliminary results of the athletes. Thank you for your work!

We’re looking forward to day 3 - stay tuned!

Competition Day 3 (May 11)

Starting protocols for STA


The third competition day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023 is here.

The Setup

On May 11, 2023, athletes will compete in static apnea. In this discipline, athletes must float face-down at the surface and hold their breath for as long as they can. This discipline requires the least amount of movement - and is also the most complicate to commentate on.

The start lists for the third day of the Championship are arranged the same way as yesterday: the women perform first and the men perform in the second half of the day after the break. Attempts within these two groups are arranged according to previous official personal best (PB) performances of the athletes: from shortest to longest breath-hold times.

Top 3 women

For ten years already, the absolute world record in STA 09:02 has belonged only to Natalia Molchanova (RUS). The women who can try to get as close to this record as possible and win the Championship are as follows:
Béatrice Rouvier (FRA) - 7:30.44 - 4th place in the 2022 Championship
Sylvie Gilson (FRA) - 07:56.59 - 3rd place in the 2022 Championship
Heike Schwerdtner (DEU) - 08:10.52 - 1st place in the 2022 Championship
Julia Kozerska (POL) - 08:01.02 - 2nd place in the 2022 Championship

There is no obvious winner, so we have no clue who we should bet on - but we’ll be rooting for Julia since she has the Molchanovs logo on her wetsuit! Who will you be rooting for?

top 3 women STA

Top 3 men

The situation among the men is much more complicated and intriguing. The current CMAS World Record holder in STA - Branko Petrović (SRB) - is present at the Championship. We haven’t see Branko compete for a long time, so we're looking forward to his performance.

Besides Branko, the following athletes also have great chances at medals:

Goran Čolak (HRV) - PB of 09:45
Laurent de Beaucaron (FRA) - 08:58.42 - 2nd place in the 2022 Championship
Budimir Šobat (HRV) - 09:12.71 - 1st place in the 2022 Championship

top 3 men STA

When to turn on the broadcast

The broadcast can be watched via this link: 

The fate of medals between the women will be decided at: 10:02 a.m.:
Julia Kozerska (POL)
Heike Schwerdtner (DEU)
Sylvie Gilson (FRA)
Natalia Domashenko (SRB)
Isabel Sanches Aran (ESP)
Beatrice Rouvier (FRA)

The strongest men will compete at: 12:30 p.m.:

Aleksandr Maksimov
Maurizio Marini (ITA)
Branko Petrović (SRB)
Laurent de Beaucaron (FRA)
Goran Čolak (HRV)
Budimir Šobat (HRV)

Official results for STA, Speed 4x50, and Speed 8x50

 On the third day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023, athletes competed in STA. This time, our prediction of winners was slightly less accurate - only 4 out of 6 guesses were correct. The world records in STA remain the same - this is the discipline with the longest-lasting records.

STA is the easiest discipline from the point of technique or special skill; almost anyone can practice holding their breath. That’s why it’s even more interesting that STA records haven’t moved in so many years. In June 2023, we may celebrate 10 years of the world record of 09:02, set by Natalia Molchanova in the Individual AIDA Pool World Championships. The male world record in STA was reached even earlier - during an AIDA Individual World Record attempt in June 2009, Stéphane Mifsud held his breath for 11:35.

Natalia is no longer with us and Stéphane doesn’t compete anymore, and each year, other athletes are getting closer to these incredible results.

Winners among the women

All the winners among the women performed in the last heat, so there were no surprises there. Heike Schwerdtner (DEU) held her breath for a minute longer than her competitors: 08:36.10. Congratulations to STA World Champion Heike!

The four top performances after Heike were all over 7 minutes with a 6 - 20 second difference between them. Sylvie Gilson (FRA) held her breath for 07:36.45, which is 20 seconds less than last year when she won the bronze medal. Nevertheless, this year, a shorter result brought her to second place.

Béatrice Rouvier (FRA) had a performance almost as long as last year - 07:30.16, and won the bronze medal.

Congratulations to all the winners!

STA winners women

Winners among the men

Among the men, all the athletes in the last heat performed more than 8 minutes. And in total, eight athletes exceeded this time.

Therefore, the winners of the silver and bronze medals weren’t obvious during the broadcast. Only the winner was clear. The highly-anticipated athlete Branko Petrović (SRB), the current CMAS World Record Holder in STA with a previous performance of 10:45, didn't disappoint. He was the last to finish his effort at 10:02.81, confidently showed the surface protocol, and celebrated the victory with his coach before receiving the judge's card. With cheers and applause, Branko was given the white card.

However, Mateusz Malina (POL) didn't like that Branko touched his coach before the card and brought forth complaints to the main judge. According to CMAS rules, if the coach provides a supportive touch to the athlete before the card is given, it leads to disqualification. But the rules don't forbid athletes to touch their coach. So, fortunately, the card remained white. Well done, Branko - congratulations to the World Champion!

Laurent de Beaucaron (FRA) and Budimir Šobat (HRV), with results of 09:27.84 and 09:09.42, respectively, won silver and bronze medals without incident.

The other two athletes, who tried their best at medaling, finished just several seconds earlier: Aleksandr Maksimov with a result of 08:56.18 and Goran Čolak (HRV) with a result of 08:44.79. We wish you luck for next time - see you on the podium in 2024!

STA winners men

Speed 4x50 and 8x50

We were missing the results for the second competition day’s speed discipline, but we have them now.

On May 10, athletes competed in Speed 4x50, swimming four 50m (164ft) laps as fast as possible.

The results of the fastest women are as follows:
1:33.86 - Chiara Zaffaroni (ITA)
1:41.68 - Sofia Strelets (AIN)
1:45.74 - Anastasiia Beletskaia (AIN)

The results of the fastest men are as follows:
1:19.76 - Mikhail Drozdov (AIN)
1:22.00 - Denis Arshanov (AIN)
1:27.11 - Guiseppe Fusto (ITA)

On May 11, the discipline became even more complicated, and athletes swam a 50m pool eight times. Previously, there was a discipline called Speed 16x50, when athletes needed to swim a 50m pool 16 times. However, it wasn't included in the program of this year's Championship.

The fastest women with the distance of 8x50 are as follows:
4:10.19 - Chiara Zaffaroni (ITA)
4:27.75 - Anastasiia Beletskaia (AIN)
4:40.08 - Sofia Strelets (AINA)

The results of the fastest men are as follows:
3:29.77 - Mikhail Drozdov (AIN)
3:36.20 - Guiseppe Fusto (ITA)
3:36.34 - Derin Toparlak (TUR)

Special congratulations to Turkish athlete Derin Toparlak, who eventually squeezed his way onto the podium and added some national diversity to the company of neutral and Italian athletes.

Competition Day 4 (May 12)

Starting protocols for DYN


May 12 is the last day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023. Let’s enjoy the show!

The setup

Athletes will compete in Dynamic with Fins. In this discipline, athletes swim the longest distances with monofins on one breath, showing results with the highest numbers among all dynamic disciplines.

The start lists for the fourth day of the Championship are arranged differently: the men will perform first, and the women will perform in the second half of the day after the break. Attempts within these two groups are arranged according to the athletes' previous official personal best (PB) performances: from shortest to longest breath-hold times.

Top 3 men

The absolute world record in DYN 321.43m (1054ft) belongs to Mateusz Malina (POL). It was set in the CMAS Freediving Indoor World Championship 2022. Guillaume Bourdila (FRA) is the current AIDA World Record Holder with a performance of 301m (988ft), reached during the 28th AIDA World Championship in 2022.

But now, we also have Goran Čolak (HRV) on the stage, who managed to swim 292.15m (958ft) with bifins two days ago. The athlete seems to be in good shape and theoretically can attempt a new world record if he managed to recover after his previous performance.

New record or not, we bet Goran will win the race for the gold medal. What do you think?

top 3 man DYN

Top 3 women

Among the women, the most likely winners are the two Polish athletes once again, Magdalena Solich-Talanda and Julia Kozerska.

Magdalena is the current absolute world record holder with her best official performance of 277m (909ft) reached during the AIDA International Czech Championship in 2022. Julia's official PB is 260m (853ft), reached during the 28th AIDA World Championship in 2022. It seems like Magdalena has a better chance at winning, so we'll bet on Magdalena this time!

But it's difficult to predict who will come in third. There are seven other athletes who may try to win the bronze.

to 3 women DYN

When to turn on the broadcast

The broadcast can be watched via this link: 

The strongest men will dive at:
12:50 p.m. - Vivien Richard (FRA), Yueh-Shiang Hsu (TPE), Olivier Elu (FRA), Goran Čolak (HRV)
13:00 p.m. - Mauro Generali (ITA), Ming Jin (CHN), Guillaume Bourdila (FRA), Mateusz Malina (POL)

The fate of the medals between the women will be decided at:
14:40 p.m. - Gemma Catala (ESP)
14:50 p.m. - Hinatea Penilla (FRA), Vita Kremser (SLO), Natalia Domashenko (SRB), Heike Schwerdtner (DEU)
15:00 p.m. - Livia Bregonzio (ITA), Almudena Calvo Blanco (ESP), Julia Kozerska (POL), Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL)

Official results for DYN


On the final day of the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023, athletes competed in DYN, where they swim as far as they can with a monofin on one breath. It was spectacular and filled with so many surprises that our predictions of the winners ended up being completely wrong. But who could’ve expected that the main favorite and current CMAS World Record holder in DYN, Mateusz Malina (POL), would drop to 10th place in this championship’s DYN rating? Here’s how it happened.

How the men’s event unfolded

As usual for this Championship, the winners mostly came from the last two heats. Swimming in the penultimate heat was the new World Record holder in DYN-BF, Goran Čolak (HRV). We hoped he might attempt a new world record in DYN as well, but he finished his attempt at 299.50m (983ft). His performance was 21.6m (71m) further than Oliver Elu’s (FRA), who finished his dive at 277.90m (912ft). Eventually, both athletes appeared in 3rd and 4th places.

In the last heat, we expected that the main competition would be between Mateusz Malina (POL) and Guillaume Bourdila (FRA). At first, our prediction seemed to be right. Ming Jin (CHN) finned quickly and came up to the surface first. Mauro Generali (ITA) continued his dive together with Guillaume and Mateusz. All three athletes surfaced at approximately the same time and showed the surface protocol. The broadcast viewers must have all frozen while waiting for the preliminary results, but at that moment, it was already clear that Guillaume had finished with a greater distance.

It was difficult to believe once the numbers were announced:

Mateusz Malina (POL) - 251.92m (827ft)
Ming Jin (CHN) - 275.70m (905ft)
Mauro Generali (ITA) - 300.00m (984ft)
Guillaume Bourdila (FRA) - 306.60m (1,006ft)

Successful freediving careers

We’re delighted to congratulate and celebrate the World Champion - Guillaume Bourdila (FRA)! It’s been a pleasure observing how he steadily progresses from year to year.

In the 2022 Championship, Guillaume won a silver medal with a result of 286.9m (941ft). Then, just several days later, Guillaume also participated in the 28th AIDA World Championship, where he set a new AIDA World Record in DYN for 301m (988ft). This year, Guillaume added 5.6m (18ft) to his official personal best (PB). This is what a successful sports career looks like, freedivers. Guillaume, we wish you continued success and are looking forward to your absolute world record one day!

Guillaume Bourdila (FRA)

As you can guess, Mauro Generali (ITA) became a Vice-Champion in DYN with a new CMAS National Record for Italy. Mauro is 49-year-old athlete from Bologna who participated in his first freediving competition in 2006. In 17 years in freediving, Mauro became the Italian and World Champion in the dynamic discipline multiple times and set a CMAS DYN-BF World Record in 2017, swimming 232.85m (764ft) with bifins. What an inspiration to keep training and improving official PBs!

Goran Čolak (HRV) won the bronze, a great performance after a tiresome world-record dive with bifins just two days prior. As a side note, perhaps, we might have seen even greater results if the athletes had at least one rest day in the middle of championship. With four competition days in a row, athletes can usually only choose one or two disciplines to focus on if they opt for world’s-best results.

Also, we can't avoid noticing that the overall DYN results of this year's Championship are significantly higher than last year's. In the 2022 Championship, only five athletes managed to swim over 250m (820ft) with a monofin. This year, ten men did that. Great progress!

Winners among the women

Like the men, the women have also improved their overall results within a single year. In the 2022 Championship, eight women dived a distance of over 200m (656ft). In 2023, there are now ten of them. And among them, Mariam Alerwi from Saudi Arabia swam 206.74m with monofin.

However, the competition between women developed less dramatically than among men. All the competitors who swam in the last heat made it to the podium. Livia Bregonzio (ITA) and Almudena Calvo Blanco (ESP) both finished at 250m (820ft) and shared third place.

The current absolute world record holder in DYN, Magdalena Solich-Talanda (POL), with an official PB of 277m (909ft) reached during AIDA International Czech Championship in 2022, didn't push her limits after her world-record dive in bifins two days ago. Magdalena completed a confident dive to 262.30m (861ft) and won the silver medal.

Julia Kozerska (POL), on the other hand, dived 264m (866ft) with the monofin and won the gold - congratulations to the Champion! Julia improved her official PB in DYN by 4m (13ft). In the 28th AIDA World Championship 2022, the athlete reached 260m (853ft) with the monofin. This year, she pushed it even further. There are still 13m (43ft) left until she reaches the absolute world record, and we hope Julia keeps going!

Julia Kozerska (POL)

Let’s celebrate together!

We’re proud to inform you that World Champion in DYN Julia Kozerska (POL) wore the PRO Monofin 4 Carbon for her gold-winning performance. We’re happy to see the athlete competing in our monofin, and that’s why we’re announcing a 15% discount on all our PRO Monofins for 24 hours to celebrate Julia's achievement. Use the code JULIA at checkout and celebrate with us!

Wrapping up this Championship

Did you know that in 2022, the only Arab countries present in the Championship were Oman and Kuwait? This year, we saw teams from Bahrain, Algeria, UAE, Egypt, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Some of them participated in the Championship for the first time while others are already getting into the top ten. We’re delighted to see this development and inclusion in the sport!

On this happy note, the Kuwait CMAS World Freediving Indoor Championship 2023 is officially over! See you at the AIDA Pool World Championship on June 12th!

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