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Watch: Czech diver Vencl breaks swimming under the ice record

Czech free diver David Vencl has broken the world record in swimming under the ice on a single breath.

On a lake in northern Czech Republic, he swam 80 metres without a wetsuit, a cap or weights on February 23.

The previous record set by Danish swimmer Stig Severinsen in 2013 was 76.2 metres. Vencl took a minute and 35 seconds to cover the distance.

The record has yet to be approved by the Pure Apnea organisation to qualify as a Guinness World Record. Vencl originally wanted to break the record in the Weissensee Lake in Austria, but he was prevented from travelling by coronavirus restrictions.

He had to swim under a layer of ice that is at least 30 centimetres thick to meet the Guinness rules.

To get prepared, he regularly swam or stayed in cold water and wore light clothes even in severe frost. He also took baths in a barrel on his balcony with salted water that was -3 or -4 degrees Celsius cold.

His record for static apnea, or a stay under water on a single breath, is almost eight minutes.

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