Michaela Werner is among an elite group of women who can swim 200 metres without coming up for air in roughly 2.5 minutes.
She’s done it several times in training at our Lambton Pool. Next year, she wants to attempt it in competition with the added pressure and stress that brings. Michaela, 42, is a freediver and mother of three young children who is driven by the passion to “find out how long and how far I can dive on a single breath of air”.
Her passion comes from “the love for the water and ocean”.
The national record for a female swimming underwater in competition is 200 metres and she has now achieved that feat several times in training, with four laps underwater at Lambton Pool.
She did so after more than a decade of freediving experience and 10 months of training for two hours a day. She said only one other woman in Australia and 31 women worldwide had swum 200 metres underwater in AIDA (International Association for the Development of Apnea) competition.
COVID made her training extra tough. She had to deal with home-schooling, closed pools and gyms, and training in the ocean. However, she pushed through with training including ice baths, yoga and sand-dune runs while holding her breath.
She now dreams of swimming underwater further than 200 metres in an official competition next year.
Michaela, who is also a freediving instructor, says it is all about controlling the mind. She can hold her breath underwater in a static position for six minutes. But don’t try this at home.
“People shouldn’t hold their breath unsupervised in the water. It looks cool what I do, but I know what I’m doing. I have many years of experience.”
Credit: Newcastle Herald, Newcastle
Image: Warrick Eady