The 2015 World Champs had highs and lows. The mournful absence of Natalia Molchanova /the resurgence of her son Alexey, who claimed two golds. The alarming oversights for Néry’s world record attempt in the pre-comp/the attention to detail in providing for athletes aboard the competition platform. It would be unfair to only fault the competition, but it would be unwise not to use the shortcomings as opportunities for growth and improvement. So I think we should celebrate the hard work and successes of this year’s World Champs, but not equivocate on the serious issues that were brought to light.
I was amongst the vanguard of athletes to arrive several weeks ahead of the World Champs. The organisers were ready for us, with a dedicated RIB dive boat and safety team to look after us in our training, and they went out of their way to help athletes get settled in Cyprus, with transfers, accommodation, and local SIM cards. This kind of treatment creates a great positive energy before the comp begins, and the appreciation from athletes was evident at the closing ceremony, where the head organisers received a rousing and prolonged ovation. The safety team were very supportive as well, and all were experienced and competent divers.
A certain amount of bad luck came into the competition, with changeable weather and sea currents, a freakish sandstorm, and errant line markings. However we often have more control over our luck than we think.
Competition or training was canceled or suspended on at least three occasions due to sea currents and swell. Could it have been known from a location audit that this dive site was susceptible to current/weather in mid-September?
One strip of electric tape at the 140m mark was lost from the rope, causing a seriously life-threatening incident. That’s bad luck, but it was very bad oversight that there weren’t protocols in place to spot the marking error, and that it was the only verification method used for line depth.
This was also the first AIDA Depth WC in which no world records were announced, and all