AIDA’s preparation for the continuous growth of freediving around the world
Víctor García
June 28, 2024

The success of the 32nd edition of the AIDA World Freediving Championships being held these days in Kaunas (Lithuania) not only translates into numerous world, national and continental records, but also, as AIDA president Sasa Jeremic points out, into a “diversity in gold medals” that points directly to the great growth of freediving worldwide.

“We are delighted to see how AIDA is diversifying around the world and gold medals are going to Cuba, South Korea… Different continents. We see how the freediving community is growing steadily,” Sasa Jeremic said Friday from Kaunas. The positive conclusion of the president is related to the solidity of the growth programs implemented throughout the globe, which are being reaffirmed these days in the Lithuanian capital.


“We have seen brilliant performances from athletes from all over the world. Today, for example, we had the opportunity to see a world record in the discipline of ‘Static’ with more than 9 minutes without breathing underwater“, Jeremic comments with admiration about the new world record of the german Heike Schwerdtner.

Now, “after the experience in 32 world championships, AIDA is now looking forward to joint freediving to major international sports events“, concludes Sasa Jeremic, who looks to the future for an answer to the success of this world championship.

After listening to Sasa Jeremic’s words, AIDA’s challenge is to continue strengthening the structure of a developing sport all over the world and to be ready for the growing demand that wants new and big international challenges at competition level.


Sporting brilliance in the best light. 114 athletes from all 5 continents competed to hold their breath and stay afloat on the surface of the pool in Kaunas for a longer time than anyone else. Some of the registered athletes decided to take part only in the static discipline and focus only on achieving peak performance there. The atmosphere in the Zalgirio Arena was ecstatic from the first to the last heat. The women opened the day with a new AIDA world record and the men ended the day with a dramatic finale.

Extremely exciting day on which the 11-year-old record of the late Natalia Molchanova was broken in the women’s static. The athlete from Germany, Heike Schwerdtner, secured her place in the history of freediving with a time of 9 minutes and 7 seconds. Heike, who started her competitive freediving career in 2017 with a breath hold time of 5:46, won the gold medal at the AIDA World Championships in Jeju, Korea last year and managed to beat the previous world record by 5 seconds this year. The silver and bronze medals in the women’s category went to Iris Ala-Olla from Finland and Yuriko Ichihara from Japan, who both held their breath for 7 minutes and 36 seconds to reach the podium.

There was also an incredible final for the men’s world title. David Spreitz Elings from Sweden, who held his breath for 9 minutes and 5 seconds, secured the gold medal and the top position in the race for overall victory ahead of today’s final day of competition. Budimir Buda Šobat, with 8 minutes and 37 seconds will bring the silver medal to Croatia. The bronze medal goes to Australia with Antony Judge, who achieved 8 minutes 2 seconds. The silver and bronze medals with 7 minutes 36 seconds each go to Finland and Japan.

An exciting day was the stage for new continental records for Asia and national records for 12 countries, showing the growth and development of competitive freediving on a global scale.

09min 07sec HEIKE SCHWERDTNER, Germany

ASIA 07min 36sec Yuriko Ichihara, Japan

ISRAEL – Thalia Sklair 06min 12sec
LITHUANIA – Evelina Navasinskaite 06min 44sec
LITHUANIA – Evelina Navasinskaite 06min 44sec
PORTUGAL – Sandra Brum 05min 46sec
AUSTRALIA – Ekaterina Borysyuk 06min 43sec
AUSTRALIA – Jenna Black 06min 25sec
FINLAND – Iris Ala-Olla 07min 36sec

HUNGARY – Andras Sopronyi 07min 16sec
LITHUANIA – Liutauras Varanavicius 06min 18sec
LITHUANIA – Sarunas Jurcius 06min 24sec

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