“How did you feel when your diving record was validated at 119 meters?
When I got out of the water I breathed well, I did my protocol and everything went pretty quickly. I hit the water and thought of Nadal when he scores a point and makes a gesture with his arm (laughs). There was a great explosion of joy. And above all, a realization of all the training sessions carried out this winter. I thought of my family, there was Charlotte (his partner) by my side. She helped me fix everything, my training, my dives. Every year, that’s what wins the most.
“I jumped into the water and thought of Nadal”
Tell us about your dive.
The day before was serene, I slept well. This morning (the interview was conducted on Friday night), I did my stretch, my visualization. When I got to the platform, there was a shallow current, for the first ten meters, which is unusual. It didn’t bother me. There was a marriage proposal just before my dive. Everyone was screaming, it was beautiful to see, there was good energy. Then it was my turn to dive. In my head, I was settled, I knew exactly what to do. Throughout the descent, I had a strong kicking rhythm. When I found myself at the bottom I was fine, very lucid, without intoxication of the bottom. And on the way up, I sent “the watts” to get me out of this zone. When I saw the safety divers about 100 feet away, I was fine. I was already starting to prepare for my exit from the water and thinking about the judges.
“The judges told me that they felt like I had only done 50 meters because I was so fresh. I was not out of breath”
What are you most proud of?
Develop my sport with this type of diving. I do everything to put the way. The judges told me that they were under the impression that I had only done 50 meters so fresh that I was. He wasn’t out of breath. In my opinion, it shows a beautiful image of the sport, and with depths that we would not have imagined a few years ago.
In this point ?
So deep in bi-fins, no. Already in single-seaters, very few manage to enter these depths despite the fact that it is an easier discipline to practice. In particular, there is more power. But in dual fins… Three years ago, the record was 108 meters. And ten years ago, the record was 85 meters.
Arnaud Jerald near the start. (D.Verhoeven)
How do you explain that you managed to go beyond these phenomenal limits?
Already, I have only chosen one discipline (constant weight bi-fins) and gave it my all. It turned out that he had an easy time with his thighs. Physically, I have abilities. And the strategy was well framed. We avoid the pitfalls associated with my young age. In the excitement, he could have done silly things. Having a good entourage allows you to always keep your head on your shoulders. And this winter I trained very well. Alexey (absent due to his nationality) it is better to train well to do better (smiles).
“I’m still full of adrenaline”
In view of your freshness when you come back after a dive to 119 meters, you still have room for improvement, don’t you?
Yes, I am convinced of it. That’s what’s great. Every year I try to keep this margin between my limit and the dip. And there, indeed, we see that there is still space. (Repeat) There’s still room.
How will you face the second part of the competition?
I will think about my strategy. Don’t forget that the season is still long, there are world championships in October (in Turkey) and I have a big goal to keep my title. There, I can decide to do a little monofin dive just for fun, or go deeper than 119 meters with twin fins or stop there.
What are you leaning towards?
It’s too early to tell. I’m still full of adrenaline. I just called my family, it’s all mixed up in my head. Now is not the time to make a decision. At that point, you can say to yourself “wow, that’s great, I can go lower.” While that may be exaggeration. So we’ll see. »
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