3 New AIDA World Records Set in May

3 New AIDA World Records Set in May

By Kristina Zvaritch

May 2023 was a busy month for the competitive freediving world!

Two competitions, the AIDA Oceanquest Philippines 2023 and the AIDA IDA ASIA Depth Challenge, brought forth 3 new AIDA World Records - including 2 new absolute World Records.

Less than a week later, the AIDA Oceanquest Philippines 2023 competition took place in Camotes Freediving in the Philippines on May 24th and 26th. Although the last two competition days had to be canceled due to an oncoming typhoon, it didn’t stop athletes from setting an unbelievable 2 World Records, 1 Continental Record, and 8 National Records.

The AIDA IDA ASIA Depth Challenge held by Double K took place over 5 days on May 13th, 2023, in Lapu-Lapu City, Philippines. Even with delays due to currents (and one World-Record dive that was delayed for 5 hours!), athletes managed to set 1 World Record, 2 Continental Records, and 5 National Records.

Alexey Molchanov

Due to AIDA and CMAS banning Russian and Belarusian freediving athletes from participating in competitions at the beginning of 2022, Alexey Molchanov was unable to compete for an extended amount of time. However, he returned as a force to be reckoned with on day 2 of the AIDA Oceanquest Philippines 2023 by reaching 121m (397ft) in CWTB (not to mention his 153m/502ft and 156m/512ft VWT World Records just 2 months before!).

Alexey and French freediving athlete Arnauld Jerald began a famous rivalry in May 2019, when Jerald set the first AIDA CWTB World Record with 108m (354ft) and Alexey matched it the next day, beating it by 2m (6ft) later that year. Since then, they have continued racing each other toward the deep, adding meter after meter - and both break these records with Molchanovs bifins! Arnauld Jerald favors the CB2x Carbon, while Alexey recently switched to the PRO Hyper Bifins Carbon.

The most recent successful CWTB dive and world record from Arnauld Jerald was his dive to 120m (394ft) at Vertical Blue 2022. However, Alexey’s recent fantastic 121m dive in bifins not only earned him a World Record Holder title - his performance is also an absolute World Record.

Alessia Zecchini

Alessia Zecchini of Italy stunned the world on day 1 of the AIDA Oceanquest Philippines 2023 with an incredible dive to 123m (404ft) in CWT. Not only is this a new AIDA World Record, but it is also an absolute World Record.

The rivalry between Alessia and Slovenian athlete Alenka Artnik has become something of a legend. Alessia set her first CWT World Records at Vertical Blue 2017 to 102m (335ft) and 104m (341ft). Then, at Vertical Blue 2018, Alessia and Alenka battled it out for the CWT World Record (along with Japanese athlete Hanako Hirose) meter by meter until Alessia reached the final depth of 107m (351ft). Since then, the records have continued piling up, with each athlete matching the other’s record or adding a few meters, bringing us to Alenka’s most recent CMAS CWT World Record of 122m (400ft) at Vertical Blue 2021 in July.

Petar Klovar

Croatia’s Petar Klovar now has a new AIDA FIM World Record under his weight belt. On the final day of the AIDA IDA ASIA Depth Challenge and after an unexpected 5-hour delay, he reached 128m (420ft) in the FIM discipline, 4m (13ft) less than his absolute World Record in the discipline (132m / 433ft FIM at the 6th CMAS World Outdoor Freediving Championship 2022). The previous AIDA FIM World Record belonged to Poland’s Mateusz Malina (127m / 417ft), set just last year at Vertical Blue 2022.

Petar is seemingly one of the strongest freedivers in today’s freediving world. Not only is he the deepest man in the world with 132m, but he also set a CMAS World Record in CNF (94m / 308ft) just 48 hours after reaching 132m. There aren’t many athletes that can come close to Petar’s athletic performance - Alexey Molchanov holds an AIDA Continental Record for 96m (315ft) from a performance in the Caribbean Cup 2014, and William Trubridge’s absolute World Record is still strong at 102m (335ft) since his Individual World Record Attempt in 2016.

The best part is that it seems like Petar is only just getting started - it’ll be exciting to see his performances in the coming years!

Stay tuned

This is only the beginning of the depth competition season. We still have the upcoming Vertical Blue 2023 in July, the CMAS 2023 Freediving Depth World Championship in August, and the 31st AIDA Depth World Championship in September - with plenty of other competitions in-between for athletes to continue breaking records.

Did you know that we write daily reports of the top competitions as they happen? Well - now you do!

Stay tuned for our upcoming reports covering the 30th AIDA World Championship 2023 in Jeju, South Korea, starting June 12th!