Man! Or should I say – Men! This was brutal. The so far unofficial result list looks like a hurricane blew over it. 9 black outs and totally 12 red cards. Way too much. Let’s have look at what actually went down yesterday.
If the women’s FIM was predictable this was the exact opposite. Only one of the top divers – William Trubridge – delivered, and that with a short dive leaving the tag at the bottom.
First, let’s have a look at the medals
Gold: William Trubridge – NZL 114m – Short (AP 116m)
Silver: Dean Chaouche – UK 98m – Clean
Bronze: Adam Stern – AUS 92m – Clean & Brandon Hendrickson – USA 92m Clean
Now, how did all this happen? Let’s have a look at it one fallen soldier at a time.
1. Alexey Molchanov – Russia: AP 121m
Impressive dive to the bottom and back but at the surface Alexey did an well, an Alexey… Just like in the Caribbean Cup a week ago he came up and gave his ok sign with his back to the judges. The diver has to face the judge while giving the ok sign so that the judge has a fair chance to see it. Red card – Surface Protocol.
2. Walid Boudhiaf – Tunisia: AP 117m
Walid did a Walid. A solid decent but blacking out on ascent, this time deep around 30m. Some scary scenes played out but he came back quite quick after a great performance by the safety team. I feel for Walid and really wish him to succeed in the big comps, but I feel that he needs to take a step back and play it a little safer. It seems to me like he wants to achieve too much at once. He keeps going for glory with Personal and thereby National Records in every competition, possibly putting too much pressure on himself.
3. William Trubridge – New Zeeland: AP 114m
The only of the deepest divers who somewhat delivered. This 114m dive gave him 111 points. 1 point per meter minus 1 point for not bringing up a tag and minus 2 further points for the difference between announced depth (116m) and actual depth (114m). Yellow Card and gold in the bank.
4. Thibault Guines – France: AP 105m
Surface Black Out
5. Morgan Bourc’hisn- France: AP 102m
Turned early at 97m and 91 points in the protocol.
6. Tim Oehmigen – Germany: AP 100m
Timothy went for glory with a National Record attempt of 100m. Today was not the day to do it. Black Out.
So out of 6 announced 100m+ dives no one made it clean, but at least William came out with a yellow card, enough for a gold medal.
7. Dean Chaouche – UK: AP 98m
Clean! The deepest clean dive of the day. Well done Dean.
8. Stig Pryds – Denmark: AP 98m
Stig turned early at 80m resulting in 61 points
9. Michael Board – UK: AP 96m
Red Card – surface protocol. Mike squeezed in his ok sign between removing his googles and noses clip. Facial equipment should be removed first before ok sign is flashed and the words I am ok are said. With a bit of hypoxia even the simplest task may be too difficult.
10. Adam Stern – Australia: AP 92m
Clean – Bronze Medal
11. Brandon Hendrickson – USA: AP 92m
Clean – Bronze Medal
So there we have it. We had to go all the way down to the 11th deepest announced depth to find all of our medalists. Quite extraordinary. And to be honest quite disappointing, not to take anything away from the medalists. Their medals are truly well deserved a day like this.
Kurt Chambers – USA: AP 90m
Kurt had a very unfortunate disqualification after a clean dive where his coached interfered by leaving the surface during his dive. This is a clear violation of the rules, leaving the judge no choice but to flash the Red Card
So why did all this happen?
It’s difficult to point out. Conditions were better than in many of the training days. Was it competition nerves? Maybe, but the ladies could handle it.
Are black outs contagious? Like someone pointed out at Facebook sometimes it seems like Black Outs can spread like the flu evoking negative thoughts in other athletes making them more vulnerable. For example Thibault dived right after Walid’s deep black out, not an easy dive to make with all the commotion going on on the other platform. Is that why he blacked out himself? Difficult to say but it may have played a part.
Freediving is a very mental sport, probably more so than most other sports, negative thoughts, fear or anxiety can turn a normally relatively easy dive into something impossible.
Now let’s put this behind us and look forward to the remaining competition days starting with the Women’s CWT on the 29th.
May the white cards flash!
Full UNOFFICIAL result list below. There may be reasons to revise in case of protests.