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Freediving world champion believed dead

Wednesday, August 05, 2015 - 00:53

Spanish officials have called off the search for 23-time world champion freediver, Russia's Natalia Molchanova, who went missing on a diving trip off the Spanish island of Formentera. Gavino Garay reports.

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The search has been called off for the woman considered to be one of the greatest freedivers in the world. Russia's Natalia Molchanova (Natal -- eee -yah Mal chyan oh va) disappeared during a dive off Spain's Balearic (Bal - ee - arr - ick) Islands on Sunday .. and officials say she's now feared dead. 53-year-old Molchanova is believed to have been separated from her companions at around 40 meters underwater when she may have been caught in strong undercurrents. Freedivers rely on their ability to hold their breath and dive without scuba equipment. Molchanova was the most decorated freediver in the world, holding 41 world records and 23 world championships. She could hold her breath for up to nine minutes. The former president of the Freediving Federation of Russia leaves behind her son Alexey -- also a free diver -- and daughter Oksana.

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Freediving world champion believed dead

Wednesday, August 05, 2015 - 00:53