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'I owe New Zealand a world record' - bitter disappointment for William Trubridge

New Zealand freediver William Trubridge has fallen agonisingly short of breaking his own world record for the deepest dive without swimming assistance in the Bahamas this morning.

Freediver William Trubridge has failed in his world record attempt after blacking outupon reaching the surface. Source: 1 NEWS

The 34-year-old's dive of 102m was set to surpass his previous record by a metre in what is considered diving's most difficult discipline.

Plunging into a 203m deep sinkhole known as Dean's Blue Hole, Trubridge resurfaced three minutes and 30 seconds after reaching the target depth but the dive was made void after he required assistance from safety divers just 20m from the surface.

Truebridge's immediate post-race reaction summed up his feelings: "I feel like I owe New Zealand a world record."

"There's definitely disappointment about not reaching the goal that I set myself.

"But at the same time I just feel honoured and humbled by all the support and the encouragement that's come from New Zealand.

"I'm really thankful for that but just sorry that I wasn't able to bring it home this time."

Trubridge suffered a blackout during a practice dive of around 90m due to cold conditions at the weekend but couldn't single out any specific reasons for today's misfire.

Already the holder of 15 world records, the Kiwi is determined to return to the site for another attempt at the dive in around six months.

"I'm definitely going to attempt this again," he said.

"We're doing another event next April-May so I'll probably have another crack at it then.

"In the next couple of days I'm going to focus on the other two disciplines to try and win the overall prize.

"But I'll definitely give it a big shot. I feel like I owe New Zealand a world record."