What a battle that was! As opposite to the Free Immersion competition the top guys really delivered this time. In an unseen dive off we got to see Alexey Molchanov and Dave Mullins nail their 126m dives in spectacular fashion to share the gold.
I’m still stoked from what went down yesterday. Let’s start by taking a look at the medals and then go through my highlighted dives one by one.
But first I need to mention that we haven’t seen any official result list after protests, but in the absence of the same by now I assume that no protests went through.
Gold: Alexey Molchanov – Russia 126m & Dave Mullins 126m
Bronze: Morgan Bourc’his – France 101m
Massive congratulations guys!
So how did it go down? Let’s have a look at the dives in chronological order.
Arnaud Jerald– France 100m
Arnaud made it down and up again but failed his surface protocol by giving the ok sign with his back to the judges and dipping his airways for a split second. No discussion – Red Card.
Stéphane Tourreau – France 101m
Stéphane had great dive and succeeded with his surface protocol. Unfortunately he failed to bring the tag back to the surface resulting in a yellow card and 1 minus point. Something that would come to cost him a shared bronze medal.
Morgan Bourc’his – France AP 101m
Morgan delivered with a clean dive that would eventually carry him all the way to the bronze medal.
Stig Pryds – Denmark AP 103m
This wasn’t Stig’s day. After pulling off the dive easy in training the other day equalization became a show stopper forcing him to turn early at 74m resulting in a Yellow Card.
Adam Stern – Australia AP 104m
Adam’s dive was incorrectly announced as a National Record attempt, which it wasn’t. The official National Record for Australia is 106m and is currently held by Walter Steyn since 2011, even though Adam has equaled that in training. Anyway, Adam posted after the dive on Facebook that he didn’t feel good on the day and decided to make it a casual dive by turning early rather than having a bad deep diving experience to carry forward. This is a very healthy approach in my opinion. 58m and a Yellow Card.
Wang Aolin – China 105m
In another failed surface protocol for the day Aolin got a Red Card after forgetting to remove his nose clip. A pity on an otherwise beautiful dive.
Mike Board – UK AP 106m
Just like William, Mike made his dive all the way down and back to the surface, but struggled a little with the surface protocol. He didn’t look as hypoxic as William would later do, but he kept his profile to the judge as he flashed the ok sign, resulting in his second Red Card for failed Surface Protocol in the championship. The rules say that you should face the judge, but his ok sign was clearly visible to the judges. A tough call to make as a judge. When I asked Mike about it he said he would protest it, but the protest seemingly didn’t go through. To have two big dives disqualified for surface protocol got to be extremely frustrating.
William Trubridge – New Zeeland – AP 116m
William made it all the way down to the bottom plate this time. He surfaced, but struggled to get through his surface protocol. From the view of the camera it looked like he actually did make it, correctly and on my watch within the legal time frame of 15sec. But a Red Card still. I would expect him to have filed a protest for this decision and I would love to know the details on his disqualification.
Dave Mullins – New Zeeland AP 126m
Dave was first out of the two deepest announcements. I really didn’t think that he was going to make it considering his equalization problems in training and adding competition nerves on top. But sometimes I just love to be wrong. Dave really brought out his A game and did an amazing dive displaying beautiful technique and a spotless surface protocol. It even looked like he could have gone deeper, bumping his head on the bottom plate and all. National Record and Gold Medal. I am very very impressed!
Alexey Molchanov – Russia AP 126m
Alexey went in to his dive knowing that Dave had made it and that there was no room for error. An early turn or a lost tag and the gold would be lost. But the Russian phenomenon showed amazing composure under pressure and pulled it off. For a moment I thought he was losing it when he started falling away from the line around the 120m mark and having to pull on the lanyard to get back in position, a stress trigger on any dive and I can’t even imagine it down at 120m. But as he’s Alexey he sorted it out, grabbed the tag and made his ascent. This time he rotated around the line in the last meters to face the platform as he surfaced to make sure that he faced the judge for his surface protocol. That was a strategy that worked. White card and shared gold.
I just love how Diveye has made Freediving in to an exciting spectator sport for the first time. This is great!
Full result list before protests below.