SINGAPORE - For months, freediver Lim Anqi had been haunted by a blackout suffered while training for the constant-weight, no-fins discipline, as she lost consciousness near the surface after a 51-metre dive in Roatan, Honduras in July.
The apprehension prevented her from approaching that depth again, as she reached 47m for a national record at the Carribean Cup the following month.
But on Thursday (Nov 7), the 36-year-old conquered her fears and broke new ground when she set a new mark of 50m for third place at the Aida Sabang International Freediving Competition 2019 in Aceh, Indonesia.
She told The Straits Times: "That was the first time I blacked out in five years of freediving so there was a bit of fear as I avoided 50m for some time.
"But to be able to do it in my last competitive dive of the year feels like a good way to seal what has been a very rewarding year.
"I have learnt from that episode to understand my body and prepare better."
On Tuesday, Lim had also set another national record in the free immersion discipline with a 64m dive, bettering her previous mark of 62m as she finished fifth.
She also plunged 66m in the constant-weight, bi-fins discipline, four metres short of her national record set in Mexico in September, for fourth place. But she was satisfied with how she performed under tricky conditions against an elite field that included China's Jessea Lu.
"Usually the waters are warmer in this region, but there was some unexpected thermocline as the temperature dipped so we had to get used to that," said Lim, who trains full-time and estimates she had spent around $20,000 from her savings and crowdfunding for training and competition this year.
"There was also bad weather on Wednesday that affected the schedule but everyone was in good spirits and the organisers did well to ensure the competition was completed in time.
"I'm happy with how I have competed this year, as I become more consistent with the depths. I plan to start next year by training without competition first, trying out different things to dive better.
"I hope my results will be recognised and earn some carding and financial support from Sport Singapore so that I can continue to break more records and bring more sporting glory to our country."