Thursday, 13 October 2011

Event three – static apnea heats

The static heats were last night. They ran all the heats in one session as opposed to splitting them over two evenings as they did with the dynamics. It was good to do them all at once, but did mean it was a little difficult coaching the rest of the NZ team and the honourary Kiwi stragglers we’ve picked up (Bjarte from Norway and Jodie from Australia who are here alone). Luckily we were all at different times. I unfortunately didn’t manage to see many divers but from the results lists you can see that mostly white cards were given out. The boys had a cut off of 6:06 for the 23 person finals and the girls were around low four minutes, so it was much as we’d expected going in. There were some impressive performances and I think there are some new divers that could surprise us with really great dives in the finals – watch out for the girls especially.

I coached Chris through a tough 5:24 static. He was in the second heat and this really is not his favourite event, but I’m pleased he did not pull out too early, I’m sure he was tempted.

I then disappeared to my room and rested for a couple of hours prior to my check in time. My official top was 6:58 pm (quite late to wait around for) and the little pool area is generally quite hot with not many chairs so it’s more comfortable to not stay there any longer than necessary before diving.

I got into a great relaxed state (almost asleep) prior to changing, but struggled a bit after.  I found the pool very deep and it was difficult to get comfortable with my head resting on the side. It’s meant to be 1.4m in the deep end and the organisers provided umbrella stands for those of us who could not reach the bottom very well, but they only gave us another 100mm. I’m not that short so I’m sure the Japanese ladies struggled much more. I don’t warm up so need to take the time to relax prior to my dive. I might just sit on the side for the finals and get in later. Anyway, having not trained a lot of statics in the last couple of months (unintentionally – it just worked out that way around travel and the last competition, plus my static training dive on arrival was aborted thanks to immense jet lag and a cold pool). I struggled a little more than usual with my contractions, and had a pretty strong heart beat for the first 2 or 3 minutes, not fast, just heavy. The contractions started pretty early for me, which I found a bit disappointing, but they were not too big or regular and I mostly managed to remain in control and pretty relaxed. The dive was fine and I have plenty left – in fact it was one of the first times I’ve gone over 6:30 without feeling very tired after. Just three or four hook breaths and I’d pretty much recovered. So I ended up first qualifier for the women’s final with 6:34. Hopefully this was a good training dive for the final and that my body is starting to remember so I’ll be a bit more relaxed for Sunday!

Guy did an easy 7:11 dive and William 7:02 for easy qualification to the finals. They were both just before me so I unfortunately completely missed their dives.

The static heats had four people at a time, starting every 14 minutes, ordered from smallest to largest announced performance. The organisers have LED displays of the times in each lane so spectators can see where the divers are up to and how much they achieved. It’s really great, otherwise you just have no idea unless you sit there with a stopwatch and really focus. It’ll be good for coaches and team captains in the finals too. Unfortunately they were announcing (in Italian) throughout the performances, but it didn’t really throw me, probably because I can’t understand it anyway – I barely recognise my own name.

The time for the static finals has changed to 9am Sunday finishing around mid-day in order to be able to complete protests, doping tests, etc prior to the closing ceremony. It’s not going to be fun for anyone to have to do a late doping test at about 10pm after dynamic followed by an early start in static. Remember that the finals will be live streamed on and

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