A Military world record on the first day of competition

the  World MIlitary Lifesaving championship have started in Halmstad

Despite rain, wind and a temperature of only just over 10 degrees, a new military world record has already been set on the first day of competition in the World Military Lifesaving Championship. Kai-Uwe Schirmer from Germany was the man who achieved this in the ”100m Manikin Tow with Fins” discipline in a new record time of 53,82 seconds.

Kai-Uwe Schirmer, Germany, gold medal winner and world record holder, in the 100 m Manikin Tow with Fins discipline. Photo: Carl Sjöstrand/Swedish Armed Forces
Maria Lundahl, Sweden, took a fine third place in the 200 m Obstacle discipline. Photo: Charlotte Pettersson/Swedish Armed Forces
The final in the women´s 100 m Manikin Tow with Fins discipline. Photo: Carl Sjöstrand/Swedish Armed Forces
The finish in the final of the men´s 100 m Manikin Tow with Fins discipline – the dummy is towed with the help of the rescue torpedo which is connected round the dummy as a lifebuoy. Photo: carl Sjöstrand/Swedish Armed Forces
One of the finals in the women´s Obstacle disciplines. Photo: Carl Sjöstrand/Försvarsmakten
The competition discipline 50 m Manikin Carry – those taking part tow the dummy by holding it in just one hand. Photo: Charlotte Pettersson/Swedish Armed Forces

– It feels great, explains a delighted Kai-Uwe Schirmer. It was a good time and it was a nice feeling to swim in this pool. It is also an honour to compete for the German Armed Forces with all these good participants from all over the world.

Four disciplines in the pool on the first day of competition

During the first of the four days of competition, those competing have competed for 42 medals in four different disciplines, three individual and a relay .Both men and women have taken part in the 200m Obstacle, 4x50m Obstacle, 50m Manekin Carry and 100m Manekin Tow with Fins. This involves partly on swimming under sunken water obstacles and partly on swimming a distance, diving down in the water and recovering a ”person in distress” in the form of a dummy before then getting this to safety with or without help of fins and a so called  rescue torpedo (lifebuoy). China took most medals, 15 in total, closely followed by Germany with 12 medals.

Success for both experienced and debut competitors

The host nation, Sweden, didn´t go without success either, with Maria Lundahl managing a third place in the women´s 200 m Obstacle and the Swedish women just managed a silver medal in the 4x 50 m Obstacle.
–This came very unexpected, but of course feels really good, says Maria Lundahl. It is the first time I have competed in this type of international military championships and I didn´t have any real knowledge about my opponents. It feels really nice that it went so well already on the first day – now the pressure is eased a little before the next days of competition!

Kai-Uwe Schirmer has, on the other hand, competed before and is even on his way to competing in the equivalent civilian world championships in Holland in 27 days.  
– My preparation has been good, and these championships are a good indication that things are going well.  I hope that I can swim fast during the coming days of competition as well!

Not only competition, but also fellowship

Just over 100 competitors will fight for those 196 medals in 17 different disciplines. Two competition days are held in the pool and two in water near the beach.
– The competition disciplines have a very close connection to real life lifesaving situations, explains Jesper Lindberg, organizer of the competition at the Air Defence Regiment. Both civilian and military lifesavers need to train and develop methods of lifesaving.  It is in this way that the Championships began.

Both Kai-Uwe and Maria agree that the championships even have a very important social function.
– There is a very nice atmosphere and feeling when we meet like this, says Kai-Uwe. Despite the fact that we are competing against one another, it is like a big family.  We do most things together, eat, live and compete.
– Here we can meet people from all the Armed Forces and other countries in a friendly way, agrees Maria.