Qatar national sets free-diving records
26 Sep 2017 - 10:03
By Irfan Bukhari | The Peninsula
Earning honour for the country, Amro Al Hamad, a Qatari national, has set two free-diving GCC records in Variable Weight and No-Limit categories in Kalamat, Greece.
Two records were set on September 18 and September 19. He has set two free-diving GCC records in two different categories including -83 metres in Variable Weight and -94 metres in No-Limit.
“The records are internationally recognised through the judging of 2 AIDA Judges (Stavros Kastrinakis and David Tranfield). The Variable Weight record was set on September 18 while on the next day (September 19), I set the -94 metres No Limit record,” Amro told The Peninsula adding that No Limit free-diving was scheduled for September 20 but “we chose to do it on the 19th to coincide with the Emir’s speech at UNGA session.”
In July this year, Amro had also organised an underwater photo shoot wearing diving costumes carrying “Tamim Al Majd” image on his chest and Qatari flag in his hands at Canary Islands.
“I set my previous records in both categories (Variable Weight -70 meters and No Limit -80 metres) in September 2015. A couple of months later Ahmed Abbas from Kuwait managed to break my Variable Weight GCC record by just 2 meters (-72 meters),” Amro said. Hamad said now he had stretched the gap as much as he could to make the task for him (Abbas) harder but “I don’t mind if he gives me another chance to break his record.”
He said that his No-Limit record set in 2015 as a GCC record was broken by himself on September 19. “It also stands as the deepest man in the GCC on one breath of air record.”
When asked about his deep blue sea experience, he said: “I am not sure if words would be able to describe it. Every time we free dive the state of peace and tranquility is indescribable.”
“The freedom experienced under water without any breathing devices is a feeling that no other sport could give you. The mind thinks of nothing at all, there is no other,” he said further quoting Umberto Pelizzari who once said “Scuba diver dives to look around. Free divers dive to look inside’’.
On his future ambitions, Amro said he wanted to continue free-diving and go deeper as much as he could. “Maybe, one day I will get close to Walid Boudhiaf’s records.”
Walid is a free-diver from Tunisia based in Colombia. “He competes in a different discipline than mine called Free Immersion and has reached successfully to 116 meters deep. I would like to be an inspiration for Qatari free divers to competitively compete and not only concentrate on spearfishing when it comes to free-diving.”
He said that he also wanted to be the first GCC citizen to pass 100 metres of depth.
To a question about the appreciation he had received from Qatar, Hamad said that he had not set the records to expect any recognition. “I did it to raise the name of my country and for my self-satisfaction.”
When asked how difficult it was to set the record, Amro said: “I wouldn’t say it was an easy journey. It took more than half a year of planning and overseas training camps the latest was in Tenerife, Spain in July before we went for the final training camp in Greece and spent three weeks on a strict training programme that involved slowly adapting to depth and embracing it.”
Amro Al Hamad, also a racing driver, has been Middle East Radical Champion for 2013, 2014. When asked why he switched his passion from motor racing to free-diving, he said: “I didn’t do it voluntarily. I was still doing both until recently. The expenses got super-high when my racing advanced and I started it in Europe. In the shadow of no adequate sponsorship I had to back up a bit on my participation.”
“Free-diving doesn’t come for free as the name implies but the expenses are for sure way affordable than motorsports,” he concluded.