Photo: US Freediving Association

Photo: US Freediving Association

John Hullverson, of Tiburon, California, broke his own USA Men’s National Freediving Record in the freediving discipline of Dynamic No Fins with a swim of 150 meters / 492 feet on a single breath. John added eight meters / twenty-six feet on to his previous record of 142 meters / 466 feet, set in 2014 on the island of Grand Cayman, BWI. John’s swim took place during the AIDA Pool Freediving World Championships as an opener during the event finals.

John’s performance took two minutes and forty-two seconds. He is competing along with 122 of the world’s top freedivers at World Championships, as the sole US athlete, being held at the Milan Gale Muškatirović Sport Center in Belgrade, June 19-28. Individuals from 22 countries are contesting the three pool freediving disciplines of Dynamic Apnea (DYN), Dynamic Apnea without Fins (DNF), and Static Apnea (STA) over the nine-day event. Athletes from many countries have set national records.

Belgrade has experienced an unseasonable cold spell and pool temperatures at the outdoor 50 x 25 meter pool were a chilly 69F degrees, prompting complaints from a number of athletes. Said John of the conditions for his record setting swim, “It was cold and rainy all day yesterday, so we expected the pool to be cold today, but it wasn’t that bad about 22C/71F. I tried not to let it bother me and just wanted to go out and do my dive.”

This was John’s second attempt this week at bettering his previous national record. He swam 150 meters / 492 feet on, June 21, the first day of the competition, his birthday, but suffered a red card-disqualification after he was unable to successfully perform the required surface protocol after surfacing from his dive. John said, “It would have been really neat to break the record on my birthday and as a present to my Dad on Father’s Day, but it wasn’t to be. The good that came out of it though was that I now knew I could do that distance and today I got the chance to prove it.  I’m very happy.”

John achieved a six minute thirty-one second breath hold in the Static Apnea discipline on June 23. The World Championships concludes with the final event and closing ceremonies on June 27.”

Dynamic No Fins (DNF) is performed by swimming without fins in a pool with the athlete holding their breath swimming as far as they can.  Distance is measured with the use of a metered tape measure.

Static Apnea (STA) tests the athlete’s ability to hold their breath for time.  The athlete lays face down in the shallow end of a pool with a coach providing for safety signaling and timing.  Upon surfacing at the conclusion of their performance the athlete must perform a surface protocol by removing their facial equipment, signaling okay and saying, I am okay, to demonstrate he or she is in control of his or her performance.

USA Freediving is a non-profit association founded on a democratic representation of freediving within the United States and internationally. Founded in 2003, US Freediving brought together a diverse group of 21 founding members, all interested in the development and growth of freediving. In just six months, this highly dedicated group was able to create an association recognized as the voice of freediving in the United States by the international community. The association has grown to over one hundred members with continued growth expected.