A German ‘free diver’ has apparently entered the Guinness World Records by holding his breath under water for more than 20 minutes.

Tom Sietas, 35, competed with former record holder, Brazilian Ricardo Bahia, to set the new record by not inhaling for 22:22 minutes.

The extraordinary feat is thought to have been completed in China in a pair of tanks next to one another over the weekend. Bahia’s previous record was 20:21 minutes.

 

During earlier heats of the competition between Tom Sietas (right) and Ricardo Bahia (left), Sietas emerged from the tank having completed 18:16 minutes under water

During earlier heats of the competition between Tom Sietas (right) and Ricardo Bahia (left), Sietas emerged from the tank having completed 18:16 minutes under water

 

He completed the challenge on Chinese TV over the weekend

 

To conserve oxygen, Sietas adopts a corpse-like stance

When he is first put into the tank it is 5°C and the temperature is slowly raised. His heart is also monitored while a lifeguard is on standby ready to pull him from the water should it become necessary

Pictures have emerged from earlier in the competition when Sietas achieved a time of 18:16 minutes.

 

Sietas pictured in 2007 when he set the record by holding his breath for 15:02 minutes

Sietas pictured in 2007 when he set the record by holding his breath for 15:02 minutes

To
help competitors with the task when they were first plunged into the
water it was 5°C but as the challenge continued that rose to just shy of
40°C.

Sietas has broken
his own records on multiple occasions for the event, officially known as
static apnea, since he first started doing it in 2000.

But he has also earned several records for ‘dynamic apnea’ – swimming as far as possible under water without breathing.

Sietas has said in the past that he does not eat for five hours before carrying out the stunts to slow his metabolism.

He
then fills his lungs with as much pure oxygen as he can, but even
without that he once held the record for static apnea without pure
oxygen first, holding his breath for 10:12mins. The current record was
set by Stéphane Mifsud in 2009 with a time of 11:35mins.

Sietas
has a lung capacity that is 20 per cent larger than average for a
person of his size and his ‘talent’ was first noticed when his
scuba-diver instructor noticed his ability to hold his breath.

 

Sietas (right) has broken his own records on multiple occasions for the event, officially known as static apnea, since he first started doing it in 2000

Sietas (right) has broken his own records on multiple occasions for the event, officially known as static apnea, since he first started doing it in 2000

https://youtu.be/yPLlPVjVybQ

 

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