SA woman's underwater ice-swim record broken by Russian

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Yekaterina Nekrasova (40), from Moscow,before her record-breaking swim.
Yekaterina Nekrasova (40), from Moscow,before her record-breaking swim.

A South African swimmer’s world record for the longest under-water ice-swim has been broken by a Russian woman.

Yekaterina Nekrasova (40), from Moscow, wore only a one-piece swimsuit when she plunged into Lake Baikal in Siberia and swam a distance of 85 metres under the ice without surfacing for air, breaking the Guinness World Record.

Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest and oldest lake. Nekrasova, who was forbidden by Guinness rules from wearing a wet suit or flippers during her swim, completed the feat in about one-and-a-half minutes.

She beat the previous world record of 70 metres, which was set by South African swimmer Amber Fillary in Norway in 2020, wearing nothing but a bikini and a proudly South African swimming cap.

Fillary embarked on her feat to raise awareness for the plight of those suffering from mental illness. Video footage showed Nekrasova breaststroking through the 0-degree-Celsius waters, with backup teams cutting through the 25-cm ice at regular intervals in case Nekrasova needed to abort the swim. 

“Eighty-five meters! A world record!” a voice can be heard saying as Nekrasova flashed an “OK” sign after surfacing into the frigid air of minus 22 C.

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