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  Longest Time Breath Held Voluntarily-record set by Tom Sietas

[Aug 10] NEW YORK--A German free diver has plunged himself into a plexi-glass tank full of water on live television and held his breath for more than 15 minutes — smashing his own Guinness World Record.

   Tom Sietas’s new record for ‘Longest Time Breath Held Voluntarily’ — which stands at 15:02 — beat his previous time by 37 seconds.

 Photo: Out of breath ... Tom Sietas, 30, shows his delight as he breaks his own Guinness World Record. Photo: AP

He said he quickly knew he would beat his own world record. "After the first two minutes I felt quite confident," Sky News reported. After the stunt he said: "I'm hungry...I think I'm going to McDonalds."

   Sietas also holds the world record, at 9 minutes and 8 seconds, for holding his breath underwater without inhaling oxygen first.

   Sietas has some natural advantages, such as lungs that are 20 per cent larger than average for his size, said Dr. Marc Spero, a lung expert affiliated with the Divers Alert Network.

    He also manages not to move in a situation that would have most people splashing and gasping for, well, air. A corpse-like stillness is central to his success, as it decreases his need for oxygen, Spero said. Underwater, Sietas clears his mind. "Let's say I had an argument with my girlfriend, I would get upset, and my heart rate would go up. I really don't think about anything," Sietas said.

   Today’s effort is just one in a week-long cavalcade of record-breaking feats he has performed on American talk show Live with Regis and Kelly.