World freediving championships – in pictures

In Kalamata, Greece, at the freediving world championships, the women's bronze medal for Constant Weight No Fins (diving down a measured rope and back up again with only the use of your bare hands and feet and a lungful of air) went not to a professional swimmer or a sponsored athlete, but to a landscape gardener, who was lugging bags of soil and lawnmowers through narrow London hallways in preparation for this world championships.

Liv Philip has a small landscaping business, which means she does most of the work herself, from a little van. Landscaping isn't puttering about in gardens: it is hard, back-breaking work. At the end of a day, you're lucky if you can lift your hands above your head without your back whinging. Liv's shoulders and her right wrist were messed up coming to Greece, and the days leading up to the event, normally used for training, were more about healing for her.

There was concrete and mud in her sinuses, all her muscles were stiff and hard, where water demands you to be smooth and loose. Yet she managed to pull off a 50 metre no-fins dive, equal to her personal best in competition. She also managed to do that with very little training – and most of the time when she is training she is also instructing beginners. Liv has been competing since 2006, and has represented the UK 10 times at world championships.

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