London: A German ‘free diver’ has apparently entered the Guinness World Records by holding his breath under water for more than 18 minutes.
Tom Sietas is a free diver since 2000 and has been taking part in these events since.
The 35-year-old smashed his own record of 17 minutes and 28 seconds that he had set in Madrid four years ago.
The amazing showdown took place in Changsha in China where Sietas competed with former record holder, Brazilian Ricardo Bahia, both men entered his own transparent tank.
The temperature was gradually raised from a chilly 5C to 40C.
The technique apparently aids the competitors on one hand.
But because their bodies consume an increasing amount of blood oxygen as the heat rises, they are at risk of sudden death.
Competitors face potentially fatal risks as the heart rate increases significantly, causing what experts call the samba effect.
This is when contestants start shaking as though they are dancing, due to insufficient oxygen in the brain. It can then lead to a blackout.
First Published: Tuesday, June 05, 2012, 21:25