The exciting monofin diving, protagonist of the last day of the AIDA Freediving World Championships
Yeray Vergara
July 1, 2024

The last day of the 32nd AIDA Freediving World Championships saw competition in the most beautiful and dynamic discipline of freediving, in which athletes compete to cover the greatest distance, while holding on, equipped with a monofin. Proper technique in the use of the monofin provides effective propulsion through the water. The distances covered with this technique are the longest of all pool freediving distances. The world record is currently held by Magdalena Solich, Poland, with 277 meters and Guillaume Bourdila, France, with 301 meters.

This year’s dynamic competition has witnessed some amazing performances. Eleven athletes have set national records for their countries. On the podium of the Zalgirio Arena pool were some well-known names in freediving, such as Julia Kozerska, Poland, who became DYN world champion, but also some newcomers, such as Zsofia Torocsik, Hungary, who won the silver medal in this discipline. It was Zsofia’s first time participating in a world championship and she achieved amazing results. She exceeded her own expectations and will leave Kaunas with two silver medals. Yasuko Ozeki of Japan won the bronze medal. Yasuko has been building her competitive freediving career and has been gradually reaching podium positions.

In the men’s category, the world champion title was won by Clement Lesaffre, a French athlete. Clement is an experienced athlete who propelled himself 2 meters further than his nearest opponent with his last kick, and reached the distance of 254 meters and a gold medal. Ibrahim Al Sulaitni of Oman took silver with a dive of 252 meters. Canada’s Sylvain Desaulniers took bronze with a dive of 242 meters.

The incorporation of new countries to competitive freediving and the development of this sport in them guarantee the future of this sport, which will hopefully become a wider international sporting arena.

During the closing ceremony the absolute winners were awarded the Molchanova prize for remaining the most successful freediver. Julia Kozerska won the Molchanova for the second consecutive year. Julia confirmed her dominance in women’s freediving, and many believe also in freediving in general, as she scored 427.1 points in all four disciplines: 3 gold medals in dynamic disciplines and 4th place in static.

In the men’s category, the overall winner is David Spreitz Elings from Sweden with 413.5 points as world champion in static, 4th in DYNB and DYN.

National records in dynamic went to Lithuanian Evelina Navašinskaite with 207 meters, Korean Jiyeon Kim with 222 meters, Israeli Thalia Sklair with 153 meters, Romanian Diana Boesan with 161 meters, Finnish Janita Kulkula with 200 meters, Portuguese Sandra Brum with 150 meters, Latvian Ilona Bardiseva with 167 meters and Hungarian Zsofia Torocsik with 250 meters.

In the men’s category, the national records went to Lithuania’s Ivan Gavriljev with 200 meters, Oman’s Ibrahim Al Sulaitni with 252 meters and Lithuania’s Aleksandr Tetervov with 213 meters.

On the continental side, Americans Sylvain Desaulniers and Rolando Salgado with 242 meters and 266 meters respectively. In the women’s category, the North American Natalie Bruce with 231 meters.

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