The Winners of Vertical Blue 2015 are Kinoshita & Trubridge
William Trubridge cruises to victory as Japanese make their mark at Vertical Blue 2015
Sayuri Kinoshita must be a very happy woman. A virtual newcomer to top-level competition, the pint-sized Japanese power-house lost out last year to an effulgent Marianna Krupnitskaya, but returned this year to finish the job. Dives of CNF 61m NR, FIM 80m NR and CWT 80m put her nose in front of team-mate Tomoka Fukuda, traditionally the all-round favourite for Japan, breaking 5 national records along the way. Despite sharing the new FIM national record with Sayuri - a big PB for her - Tomoka will be disappointed. She bowed out of the overall competition last year to focus on CWT but 87m this year wasn’t enough to compensate for the strength of Kinoshita’s CNF, further evidence of the growing importance of the discipline in all-around competition. Solid performances in third place from Katarina Linczenyiova of Slovakia. She nailed a clutch of 4 national records with final results of CNF 50m NR, CWT 80m and FIM 76m NR.
Trubridge, of course, dominated the men’s competition. Most impressive, perhaps, was his 120m CWT - just a little way shy of a personal best for him - but despite putting the competition convincingly to bed for another year, the world record holder is still looking a little bit shaky on his favoured CNF. The Kiwi favourite bagged 94m without incident but couldn’t quite make 96, despite two separate attempts. Not that that’s exactly embarrassing. Not to be outdone by the ladies, Ryuzo Shinomiya of Japan put in some solid performances (CNF 62m, CWT 95m, FIM 91m) which left him just ahead of Mexico’s Alejandro Lemus, and cemented his status as one of the most consistent divers at the top of the sport. Alejandro of South America in 3rd place dived with sniper-like precision, breaking National records on every day he dived but one. He finished with CNF 60m NR, CWT 93m and FIM 93m NR which, let’s be honest, is all pretty impressive.
Notable performances too from another Japanese submersible, Misuzu Okamoto with a new national record in CWT of 92m, she’ll be one to watch for the world record in the next few years perhaps. Great news too for Annelie Pompe of Sweden who finally overcame her gremlins to bag the FIM National record at 73m, a fitting testament to her tenacity.
Shiv Madhu of India also deserves a mention. He’s the only male diver listed on Apnea Rankings for India and has smashed the FIM National record out of the park this year with a dive to 84m. Can’t wait to see what he can do with a monofin. So that’s it for another year then isn’t it? Great conditions, great divers and great performances ensuring that Vertical Blue remains a mecca for the very highest echelons of the sport. Time will tell where the emphasis will be for next year - a later competition avoiding the team world champs, or a repeat of this year’s April billing with A1 conditions, but whatever happens, we’ll see you there.
Thanks for joining us so far.