29 August 2008
Cape Town-based freediver Hanli Prinsloo excelled in the Nordic Deep Freediving Competion held recently off the west coast of Sweden, winning the competition and setting four new South African records in the process.
Freediving is the sport of diving deep for as long, or as far, as possible on one single breath of air.
Prinsloo first improved her mark in Free Immersion, which is a depth discipline where the diver pulls herself down and back up a rope.
The previous record had been 42 metres, but she lowered the mark to 50 metres in the black and cold waters of the Gullmarsfjord.
She began the pool disciplines with a Dynamic No Fins record in which the diver swims breaststroke under water.
Prinsloo destroyed the previous record of 78 metres by swimming 126 metres underwater. That new record places her among the top five women in the world for the discipline.
Her third record came a day after the first two when Prinsloo broke her own Static Apnea mark by floating face down while holding her breath for an outstanding five minutes and 39 seconds.
On the final day of the competition, competing in the Dynamic with Fins event, she bettered her own record of a dive of 129 metres while swimming underwater with a monofin.
By adding another 21 metres to the old mark, she improved the record to 150 metres. Prinsloo now holds four of the six South African freediving records.
She has been a freediving instructor for the past 10 years and teaches in a wide variety of locations, including in Cape Town, Umkomaas, Mozambique, Egypt, and Sweden.
Prinsloo focuses on wildlife freediving, scouring the oceans for big fish and mammals, and freediving with whales, dolphins, sharks, and many other fish.
The Nordic Deep 2008 Freediving Competition was her first big competition since the 2006 World Championships.
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