Croatian free diver Goran Colak set a new world record for holding his breath under water on Sunday for 20 minutes and 30 seconds, improving the previous record held by German Tom Sietas by eight seconds.
Colak set the record on a rainy autumn evening in a pool installed on Zagreb’s main square under the watchful eye of his coach and paramedics.
The Croatian free diver, who had turned professional in 2011, has already broken national and world records in the discipline of swimming with fins under water while holding his breath.
The record attempt on Sunday was made according to Guinness World Records rules, which allow inhaling of oxygen in preparation for the actual dive.
“Well, I had already broken world records, this was a Guinness record,” Colak said. It feels great, it’s always good to add something more to one’s CV.”
“This (result) sounds a lot more impressive than, for example, nine minutes or so (records) in standard free diving disciplines,” Colak said. “To be honest, this is far easier than holding your breath without using oxygen in preparation.”
Colak’s coach Ivan Drvis said that the biggest challenge in such record breaking attempts comes from the limited knowledge that we have about the changes a diver’s body goes through when deprived from oxygen under water, and that records like these are likely to shed some light on the scientific study of free diving.
“The hardest part is that we don’t have enough information, there aren’t any scientific findings on what happens in the body” Colak’s coach Ivan Drvis said. “So this is a pioneering effort, and part of a scientific research project, which will contribute to studying the physiology of free diving as well as physiology and medicine in general.”
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