National sportswoman and world record-holding diver Şahika Ercümen on Friday broke the world record in free freshwater diving in Lake Salda in southwestern Turkey.
The attempt was originally set for Thursday but was postponed due to poor weather conditions.
Ercümen improved her previous record by 10 meters by diving to 65-meters-deep in a minute and 58 seconds without using flippers or diving tubes. When Ercümen resurfaced, she waited in the water for 20 seconds and raised her hand for observers from the World Underwater Federation (CMAS) to confirm that she is conscious and her attempt was valid.
Following the attempt, Ercümen told reporters that for a moment she thought that she would not be able to hold her breath as the water was too cold, but managed to continue and break the record.
"I'm very happy. My goal was to draw attention to the preservation of Lake Salda," she said. At 184 meters, Salda, located in the Yeşilova district of Burdur province, is the deepest lake in Turkey and is likened to the Maldives thanks to its white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters.
Ercümen added that she also wanted to dedicate this record to the Republic as Turkey will mark the 95th Republic Day on Monday.