Free-diver with more than 25 world records sets two new ones in two days after plunging


A Russian free-diver who already had at least 25 world records under his belt may have just smashed two more after descending 442 ft on a single breath twice.

Alexey Molchanov, 36, undertook two dives on Friday and Saturday at the world’s second-deepest marine cavern, Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.  

The Russian has now been dubbed the ‘Deepest Man on Earth’ after he reached the astonishing depth of 442 feet (133 metres) holding his breath for the duration of 4 min 42 sec.

He was competing in the discipline of free immersion apnea, in which a free-diver descends in a vertical line by pulling on a rope without any help from weights or fins.

The diver said following the incredible feet: ‘My dive felt good, but I’m tired! Overall I felt strong, I felt clean as well but it’s not my favorite discipline.’ 

Alexey Molchanov reached the astonishing depth of 442 feet (133 metres) holding his breath for the duration of 4 min 42 sec

Alexey Molchanov reached the astonishing depth of 442 feet (133 metres) holding his breath for the duration of 4 min 42 sec

The Russian has been dubbed the 'Deepest Man on Earth' for his incredible record-breaking dives

The Russian has been dubbed the ‘Deepest Man on Earth’ for his incredible record-breaking dives

Molchanov looks ecstatic as he surfaces from one of his dives at Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas

Molchanov looks ecstatic as he surfaces from one of his dives at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas

The discipline of free immersion apnea sees a free-diver descend in a vertical line by pulling on a rope without any help from weights or fins

The discipline of free immersion apnea sees a free-diver descend in a vertical line by pulling on a rope without any help from weights or fins

His second dive on Saturday may also result in a record after drugs tests are returned, which saw him reach the same depths but in a shorter time of 4 minutes and 13 seconds, The Times reports.

The depth is equivalent to a 40-storey building, meaning Molchanov descended and ascended this in a matter of minutes just using a dive line. 

Molchanov is the son of Natalia Molchonova, who many considered the world’s greatest freediver before her disappearance off the coast near Formentera, Spain eight years ago.

Molchonova held the most world records of a free-diver in history with 42 titles, and her son has followed in her footsteps, being the current most-decorated diver.

He smashed a free immersion depth record set in May by the Croatian Petar Klovar at 128m, according to world free-diving body AIDA.

The chief of safety at the Vertical Blue diving competition, Marco Cosentino, had this to say about Molchanov:

‘Alexey is not only the world’s best, he’s from an entirely different universe! He makes everything look so effortless which belies what it actually takes to do what he does. He is incredible.’

The 31-time world champion is a great of diving and runs a school named in honour of his late mother.

Among his litany of records, Molchanov previously achieved the deepest free dive under ice with fins, reaching a depth of 262 feet in just two minutes.

He has also claimed the last five world records in the constant weight category – another style of diving which allows divers to use a fin. 

Molchanov was competing at the Vertical Blue diving competition over the weekend

Molchanov was competing at the Vertical Blue diving competition over the weekend

The Russian was informed he had beaten the free immersion world record, despite saying the style of dive is 'not my favourite discipline'

The Russian was informed he had beaten the free immersion world record, despite saying the style of dive is ‘not my favourite discipline’

Prior to his dives this weekend, he reached 426 feet in the Bahamas in 2018, when he secured the warm water world record.

And in 2015, he reached staggering depths of 846 feet in the AIDA Pool World Championships in Belgrade.

As an experienced free-diver, Molchanov can hold his breath for close to nine minutes.

He has honed his mother’s technique of ‘deconcentration’ during his dives, meaning, instead of becoming overwhelmed by the place, he detaches from it visually and psychologically. 

He said in 2021: ‘For me, freediving is not just a job or hobby, but a life’s work, and I am glad to have this new opportunity to share this amazing sport with as large an audience as possible.

‘This is not even just a sport, but a way to learn how to manage your psychological state.’

Molchanov is married to Elena Sokolova, a Russian freestyle swimmer who competed in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic games.



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