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Man Held Breath for 18 Minutes Underwater

How long can you hold your breath underwater? Me? A minute, tops!

Well, however long you can hold your breath, I betcha it's nothing when compared to what Gianluca Genoni just did: he set a new world record for breath-holding, handily beating what David Blaine did (7 minutes) and the previous world record:

Gianluca Genoni held his breath for 18 minutes 3.69 seconds while lying underwater in a Mantua swimming pool, beating German diver Tom Sietas, who managed 17 minutes 19 seconds in September - also on live TV - to unseat Blaine from the Guinness world record book.

http://www.ansa.it/site/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2008-11-26_126282670.html - via Underwater Times


Not to discredit the guy's achievement, but "according to Guinness rules, contestants are allowed to breath pure oxygen for 30 minutes" before the attempt. What's the point of making that stipulation. Why can't they just disallow oxygen doping and put everyone on the same playing ground?
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