© St. Petersburg Times, published October 13, 2002
French free diver dies in attempt at record
A Frenchwoman attempting to break the world free-diving record died Saturday after plunging into the sea near La Romana, about 80 miles from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Audrey Mestre, 28, attached to a pulley and 200-pound weighted sled, was pulled up by divers 9 minutes, 44 seconds after she sunk below the surface without oxygen. Medics tried to resuscitate her, but she was declared dead shortly after the effort.
"An accident happened down there," said Carlos Serra, president of the Miami-based International Association of Free Divers. "We believe something hit the sled."
Serra said Mestre reached her target depth of 561 feet. But in order for it to be considered a record, she needed to return to the surface safely, he said.
Mestre was trying to break the world record of 531.5 feet set by her husband, Cuban Francisco "Pipin" Ferreras, in Cozumel, Mexico, in January 2000.
TENNIS: Three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten beat Arnaud Clement 6-4, 6-7 (7-1), 6-4 to reach the final of the Lyon Grand Prix in France, where he plays Paul-Henri Mathieu. Mathieu beat Kristian Pless 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-4. ... In the CA Trophy in Vienna, Roger Federer knocked off No. 4-seed Carlos Moya 6-2, 6-3 and Jiri Novak beat Andrei Pavel 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-2). ... Kim Clijsters beat Amelie Mauresmo 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the final of the Porsche Grand Prix in Filderstadt, Germany. Clijsters plays Daniela Hantuchova, who beat Elena Dementieva 6-3, 6-2.
CYCLING: Susanne Ljungskog won a four-way sprint in Zolder, Belgium, to clinch her first world championship road race title.
HORSES: Riskaverse edged Britain's Zenda in the $500,000 Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland. ... Fisher Pond won by 41/2 lengths in the 109th Lawrence Realization at Belmont Park. ... Ivanavinalot won the $400,000 My Dear Girl division of the Florida Stallion Stakes at Miami's Calder Race Course. In the stakes' $400,000 In Reality division, Trust N Luck won by 43/4 lengths, and in a pair of $200,000 races, Cellars Shiraz won the Calder Oaks and Union Place won the Calder Derby. ... Rolly Polly won the $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap at Santa Anita. ... Confucius Say won the $250,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic for the second straight year, beating Social Mix by 113/4 lengths.
COLLEGES: Two weeks after a heart attack, Cincinnati basketball coach Bob Huggins presided over his team's first practice. ... UF's doubles team of Alexis Gordon and Julia Scaringe lost 9-7 in the semifinals to Oklahoma State's Linda Faltykova and Katia Kolodynska at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif. In singles, junior Julie Rotondi advanced to the final of the consolation draw after beating Ohio State's Sadhaf Pervez 6-4, 6-3. ... In the Moccassin Classic at Florida Southern College, Tampa defeated St. Thomas and Nova Southeastern 3-0 in volleyball. ... Host FSU beat Maryland 3-2 in volleyball. ... USF volleyball beat host Southern Miss 3-0. ... Host FSU women's soccer fell 3-2 to Wake Forest in two OTs.
SOCCER: Host New England reached its first MLS championship game, tying Columbus 2-2. New England plays Los Angeles Oct. 20 in Foxboro, Mass.
AMERICA'S CUP: A challenger series race between OneWorld of Seattle and Oracle of San Francisco was postponed by strong wind in Auckland, New Zealand. It was rescheduled for today, the last reserve day of the first round.