Father Daughter Make US History at Freediving World Championships

Press Release (ePRNews.com) - KALAMATA, Greece - Oct 07, 2016 - Tom and Meghan Gilmore, taking their first freediving course just three years ago, a father daughter pair, are now representing the USA at the sports’ pinnacle of competition at the 2016 International Association for the Development of Apnea (AIDA) Team Freediving World Championships. They just upped their game to a new level! They have done something that has never happened in USA Freediving history. They set the USA National Record in Dynamic on the same day in the same event to hold the records at the same time.

Meghan set her record first as one of three athletes to start off the day’s event. She swam 179 meters / 587 feet to break the previous record of 160 meters / 525 feet held by decorated American and World Record holder Ashley Chapman. Ashley set the previous record at the Team Worlds in Nice, France in 2014.

Tom set his record a few hours later completing his dynamic swim with a distance of 208 meters / 682 feet breaking the former record of 200 meters / 656 feet set by Kyle Gion in 2013 in Hawaii.

This is not the first time a parent and child have held USA Freediving records at the same time. Jessica Wilson and Annabel Edwards of Hawaii held multiple national records throughout their careers. However, this is the first time for a father and daughter making it possible to hold the same record at the same time.

Tom said, “Meghan was lead off for Team USA with a USA National Record in Dynamic for USA Women. Afterward, Meg told me how she controlled the leg burn we all felt in the training one day before. With that I was stoked for Meg and admired her as her freediving knowledge base was spilling over onto me, the instructor and dad.

Thinking I would give Meghan’s advice a try and confident it would work I asked Josh how far was the existing record. He told me 200 meters, which I believed was correct and thought about how to come up at the end of my swim.

During the event, I was in at the official top almost exactly. Everything went very well to plan in the dive and especially when it started to get tough at the middle of the third fifty [meters]. Towards the end, coming into turn four, my awareness started to drift but only to the feelings in my body and keeping to the plan to come up after the turn.

I did one little deviation from my dive plan which was to push one more kick in the end but only after I thought to remember to come up after the next kick.”

Meghan said, “I feel incredible that my hard work and training led to my first national record. It won’t be my last. I am grateful for the tremendous opportunity to compete alongside my dad.”

Tom grew up in Deerfield, Illinois and is a resident of Panama City Beach, Florida. His love of the water started in the swimming pool and eventually took him to the coast. Tom was a NCAA Swimming All American while competing for his alma mater, The United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. After graduation Tom served as a nuclear engineer on Nimitz Class aircraft carriers and currently works as a software engineer for the US Navy.

Meghan grew up in Daphne, Alabama and swam competitively through high school. Shegraduated from University of Mobile with a BSN RN and currently works as a critical care nurse in San Diego, California.

USA Freediving fielded full men’s and women’s teams this year with fellow team members Kurt Randolph and Christopher Funada completing the men’s team and Ashleigh Baird and Michelle Marsh rounding out the women’s team.

The AIDA Team Freediving World Championships is a biannual event that tests nations to send their best three male and female athletes to compete as a male and female team. Three athletes and one alternate make up each team. Three freediving disciplines are contested in depth, time and distance freediving. This year’s event is being hosted by Freediving Club Greece in Kalamata.

The depth event is known as Constant Weight and requires the athlete to freedive with fins or a mono fin on a single breath to a prescribed depth and return with a tag. The time event is pure breath hold for a maximum time with the athlete lying face down in a pool, known as Static. The distance event is known as Dynamic and requires the athlete to swim on one breath with fins or a mono fin as far as they can while submerged in a pool.

The team championships differs from most freediving competitions because it awards the team with the highest point total from three athletes in three disciplines rather than individual performances. This requires teams to plan and strategize performances to ensure that the maximum point totals are achieved and to not risk disqualification by any team member.  Disqualification in even a single discipline results in zero points for that performance and can move a team down the ranking list dramatically. The team that is able to field three athletes that do well in all three disciplines rather than one or two tends to rank very well.

The USA Freediving is a nonprofit association founded on the democratic representation of freediving within the United States and internationally. Founded in 2003, USA Freediving consists of an active membership dedicated to furthering freediving in the United States and abroad. http://www.usafreediving.com

The International Association for the Development of Freediving, AIDA, is the international sanctioning body for freediving, individual and team competition, and freediving world record attempts.

Source : USA Freediving

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