The 33° CMAS World Spearfishing Championship in Laredo, Spain has been won by the Spanish Malen Sart Bonnin (Spetton) and Santiago Lopes Cid (Cressi), and Spain has also won the two Teams’ titles, as we have deeply described in our report. The women’s podium is though much more international. In fact, the extraordinary Alex Edwards (Wettie), from far away New Zealand, has conquered an outstanding second position, after winning day one. Her catches, the first day, were well beyond many men. Onyx Le Bihan (Imersion), also from very far away, Tahiti this time, has conquered the third position. She was superlative second on day 1 and very good seventh on day 2.
Malen Sart Bonnin, the Champion
We interviewed Malen Sart Bonnin just after winning her second World Spearfishing Title.
Carlo Forni: Malen, well done, you are two times World Spearfishing Champion, and the only women who has gained this title in history, as only two title have been disputed till now. How do you feel?
Malen Sart Bonnin: Winning both the individual World Title and the Teams’s title with Spain, in Spain, is something I really cannot believe! I cannot believe it! There are so many emotions in my head!
CF: On day 1 you did a great competition, but it was not enough as you said. Alex and Onyx really impressed you. But you did not let go.
MSB: I believe that in a World Championship like this one it has been key to be able to be constantly strong each day. I cought 8 valid fish on day 1 and 10 on day 2. After day 1 I was 29% from the Alex (Edwards), and my team, and especially Tomeu Salas, told me I could do it by winning day 2, so I did not let go. I made more dives than ever. I knew catching two congers was really tough, but at least I needed to catch one. Then I managed to close the cup for wrasses. At the end I managed to catch two seabreams which were really a great surprize!
This is the maximum that’s an atlete can aim for. In Sardinia it was great, but here at home even more. There have been so many people who helped me unconditionally. The Basques friends, the Cantabrian friends, the Mallorcan friends. I cannot say the names of each one of them because there are so many. And my family, my amazing husband among all, my women teammates. Such an amazing group, such a perfect mechanism with my husband was the only way to obtain this fantastic victory.
Edwards & Le Bihan, amazing podium from so far away
Alex Edwards, is second on the women’s podium, sent us a comment on her amazing result, even more astonishing considering she comes from so far away.
“Winning the first day was a very surreal feeling. I found day two to be very tough fishing, but I tried my best. I have learnt so much competing at the championships and I am very happy to have placed second. Magdalena is a very strong and impressive athlete and I feel very proud to be standing next to her on the podium along with Onyx from the Pacific.”
Marco Bardi has also commented seeing her spearfish: “She has nothing to envy of the strongest men spearos in the way she spearfishes, amazing!”
Third classified on the women’s podium, Onyx Le Bihan, obtains an amazing result. The Tahitian athlete has been so strong also with her teammate, Taina Hort, and a pity the two were penalized in the Teams’ standing for missing a third athlete in their group.
” In a few words, it is obviously a pride and a great honor to represent my island, home, our culture, and share this with other countries and other women. These results mean a lot for me and my buddy Taina, because we are the only women competitors in French Polynesia and it has been 10 years that we are fighting to be able to participate.
It was a great and very enriching experience both in terms of the human sporting aspect and also in terms of ocean life. We had to adapt to the temperature, the fishes, the equipment and the pace of life. I don’t really know what to say other than to congratulate all the male and female athletes, and especially Alex Edwards, for her performance. Also, I want to thank the organizers and the local population, and in particular our boats owners for their kindness and goodwill. Seeing so many women in spearfishing gear was impressive and very positive for me. I want to encourage all the women who want to get started with practicing spearfishing or even competing. Finally, a big thank to everyone who has supported us.”