Freediver Kathryn Nevatt, from Martinborough, came up four metres short in a world record attempt in Masterton today.
Nevatt was attempting to beat the record of 160m set by Russian Natalia Malchanova in 2009 in the discipline of dynamic without fins, which involves swimming underwater without taking a breath.
Today was the opening session of the freediving competition at the Genesis Recreation Pool.
But she is confident of doing better at other sessions planned for tomorrow, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I know I can do it, there's no reason why it shouldn't happen,' Nevatt said, minutes after ending her first attempt tantalisingly close at 156m.
The 33-year-old architect said nerves were her worst enemy.
"I was a bit shaky and started to get the wobbles and you need to be calmer than that," she said. "But I felt really strong most of the way through and that's good, strength isn't going to be a problem. I just need to control the nerves better and hopefully that won't be a problem either."