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Free diver Molchanov reaches bottom of world’s deepest pool in Dubai in under 1 min

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Freediving champion Alexey Molchanov marked a new record after he swam to the bottom of Deep Dive Dubai – the world’s deepest pool – and back up to the surface in 57 seconds, the official Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

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Before performing the record-breaking feat, Molchanov used a breathing technique called lung packing, which divers use to inflate their lungs by forcing air into them using muscle contractions similar to swallowing, enabling them to fill their lungs with as much as two gallons of air in order to stay underwater for minutes at a time.

Intense training and acclimatization are required to perform freediving. Experienced divers like Molchanov must reduce their heart’s cardiac output, which lowers blood pressure, a technique that is tough to perfect and can have dangerous consequences if not done correctly.

Members of staff monitor the surface as divers experience Deep Dive Dubai, the deepest swimming pool in the world reaching 60m, in the United Arab Emirates, on July 10, 2021. (AFP)
Members of staff monitor the surface as divers experience Deep Dive Dubai, the deepest swimming pool in the world reaching 60m, in the United Arab Emirates, on July 10, 2021. (AFP)

Deep Dive Dubai is a 60-meter-deep world record-breaking facility, making it 15 meters deeper and four times bigger than any other diving pool in the world.

Themed to resemble an abandoned sunken city, the extraordinary indoor pool is filled with 14 million liters of freshwater, the equivalent of six Olympic-sized swimming pools and its water is kept at 30 degrees Celsius to create the perfect conditions for diving.

People swimming in Deep Dive Dubai. (Credit: Deep Dive Dubai)
People swimming in Deep Dive Dubai. (Credit: Deep Dive Dubai)

Molchanov, 35, is a Russian champion free diver who holds around 24 world records, the first of which he achieved more than a dozen years ago. In 2008, he achieved his first world record in a pool discipline called Dynamic Apnea in which he swam 250 meters underwater with a monofin – a type of swim fin typically worn in underwater sports – on one breath.

In 2012, he achieved a world record in Egypt’s coastal city of Sharm El Sheikh where he dived 125 meters underwater using a monofin. He also broke his own record later that year when he dove to 126 meter in the Bahamas’ Dean’s Blue Hole, one of the world’s deepest holes.

Over 24 world records later, Molchanov is now the president of the Freediving Federation association, and International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) Russia, and owns Molchanovs, a freediving equipment brand.

He is the son of freediving champion and multiple world record holder Natalia Molchanova, who went missing in 2015 after giving a private diving lesson in Spain. She is thought to have been taken down by a current.

After unsuccessful rescue and recovery efforts, she was declared dead, as per the Spanish Civil Code which states that a missing person by shipwreck or dangerous activity be declared deceased in absentia three months after a missing report.

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