Ratan wants to spread free diving gospel

Neelam Ratan during a training session. Picture: SUPPLIED

A FIJIAN national competed at a free diving competition beating her Maltese opponent with a time of five minutes and two seconds at the Moalboal Pool competition in Cebu, Philippines.

Neelam Ratan, a free dive instructor from Savusavu is the first Fijian to dive competitively.

The sport requires the athlete to hold their breath as long as they can as they descend down either in a pool or open water.

“I was at the Philippines for three months to attend a free diving course as I wanted to further my knowledge in free diving and also bring the sport to Fiji,” said Ratan.

“To be frank, I never knew I could compete and when I was told that there was a free diving competition I decided to take part.”

Ratan said she only had a week to prepare for the competition as she had a limited time to spend in the Philippines.

“I had only one week to prepare myself mentally and physically. I did some training and was fortunate to achieve a good time,” said Ratan.

Ratan said free diving was a common practice in Fiji as many locals go out and venture for their livelihood in the ocean and it was important to educate people on the basics.

“It is important to have more knowledge in free diving; it is not just a matter of diving into the ocean but educating people on the safety and the physics of diving.”

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