Dubai, January 28th 2016 – A four-day training programme concluded at the Hamdan Sports Complex today (Thursday) ahead of the forthcoming Fazza Championship for Freediving that is being organised and supervised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Training Center (HHC) and will be held inside the very same venue between March 3rd and 5th.
Participants from the UAE and GCC region were taught the bare basics and some more advanced skills by the Serbian Guinness World Record holder Branko Petrovic, who gave out some handy hints and tips on breathing techniques, diet and stretching and training exercises.
That invaluable information and insight should steer the competitors on the right path ahead of the tournament itself, which will see two days of qualifying heats in three categories (young freedivers – 12-15, GCC nationals and freediving professionals) prior to the finals on the third and final day.
Souad Ibrahim Darwish, Director of Championships at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center, said: “We’re expecting more GCC nationals and international competitors for this year’s championship. People are far more aware of this event nowadays, so we’re anticipating an increase in the participation numbers.”
Petrovic said: “I hope the competitors will now continue on the improvements from last year, when – after this very same course – we saw major advancements in the GCC category: All of the times went up by a minute on average and the tournament record was also broken, where somebody from the GCC classification reached six minutes for the very first time. I hope to see even better results and times at this year’s championship and I’m looking forward to ensuring that whoever is participating is 100 per cent in the safe zone. I don’t want to see anyone getting a red card. I want to see everyone achieving results and not reaching the point of hypoxia (oxygen deficiency). I’m looking for them to improve their safety and their times.”
Dr Juma Al Rahoumi, Vice Chairman of the Organising Committee for the Fazza Championship for Freediving, added: “The registration applications we’ve received so far have been from different GCC countries, like Oman and Saudi Arabia, and the training sessions and tutorials we’ve undertaken over the last four days have helped the participants prepare from a physical, psychological and practical point of view. It has been invaluable to have a world-renowned freediver of the calibre of the Guinness World Record holder Branko Petrovic on hand to pass on his insight and knowledge to the attendees.”
Mohammed Abdullah Al Kaabi, an Emirati news presenter at Dubai TV, is preparing to take part in a freediving event for the very first time. He said: “Scuba diving is one of my hobbies and, while freediving is an entirely different discipline altogether, I’m looking forward to participate in this championship as it’s something completely new for me. This is a fantastic opportunity for all Emiratis and the four-day training period has been really important for all of us. The coach (Branko Petrovic) has taught us all about the basics, the theory and the practice of freediving and that’s imperative as it is completely unlike the other forms of diving.”
Another UAE national and freediving newcomer, Mohammed Al Yamahi, commented: “Once I heard about this championship, I wanted to participate – and get good results – in it as I like water sports, even though I’m a comparative beginner in freediving terms. I’d like to thank the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) for organising and supervising these Fazza Championships, which helps to maintain and revive the culture of the Emirati people among the next generation.”