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September 11 , 2008


US Women’s Freediving Team wins the silver medal in the 2008 AIDA Team Freediving World Championship.

Old cold war rivals prove to be great friends and the top freediving teams in the world.  Russia came out on top this time, but the US Women’s Freediving Team has placed second winning the silver at the 2008 AIDA Team Freediving World Championships.  The team concluded their performances today with the conclusion of the Dynamic Apnea event. 

The women did not need to make top performances in this last discipline to secure their medal.  They entered the dynamic event in second place needing only to finish cleanly with moderate performances.  They did just that.  This is a repeat of the 2004 AIDA Team Freediving World Championships where the US women placed second as well.

Jessica Wilson set a new US National Record during the static event with a performance of 6:35 bettering her old mark of 6:30.  Jessica said, “I am proud to represent my country and help my teammates bring home the silver metal.  The weather was very hot making everything much more difficult, but we were ready.  I am so happy for us all.”

Jessica is one of four women that make up the team.  Annabel Edwards, Jessica’s mother and former world record freediver, is on the team.  The remaining team members are US National Record holder, Julie “Jewels” Russell, and Ashley Futral. 

The US Men’s Freediving Team is also participating in the event.  The team consists of current US National Record holder Robert King, current US National Champion Craig Gentry, Jared Schmelzer, and Michael Antinori.  The US men have had a few set backs and finished in 16th place.

The AIDA Team Freediving World Championships is a biannual event that tests nations to send their best four 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 of apnea.  This year’s event is being hosted by Apnea Academy Egypt with over fifteen nations participating.

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 a pure breath hold for a maximum time with the athlete lying face down in a pool, known as Static Apnea.  The distance event is known as Dynamic Apnea 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 USAA is a nonprofit association founded on the democratic representation of freediving within the United States and internationally.  Founded in 2003, the USAA consists of an active membership dedicated to furthering freediving in the United States and abroad. For more information about the USAA, the U.S. National Freediving Team, and membership please visit

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.  For more information about AIDA please visit


Contact Information:

Grant W. Graves, President
United States Apnea Association, USAA

3642 Seahorn Dr.
Malibu, CA 90265
Phone: 310-560-6104

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Pictures provided by Rebecca Garrett, Deron Verbeck, Tec Clark and Jon Zeaman.