Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service
Six contenders in the men’s and women’s fight for the crown in wide open final showdown of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series at Lago Ranco on October 21, 2017
With four different winners in five events in the men’s and podium finishes for all eight female competitors in South America, the 2017 World Series has certainly lived up to its billing as the most unpredictable season ever. Three men and three women are still in contention for the overall titles when the stage is set for an unforgettable final showdown at a brand new location in Chile.
In the women’s event, reigning champion Rhiannan Iffland missed the previous competition due to injury but still holds the lead over Mexico’s Adriana Jimenez and fellow Australian Helena Merten, while Jonathan Paredes (MEX) and former Olympian Blake Aldridge (GBR) will attempt to put the pressure on Gary Hunt as the Brit moves closer to his record-setting 7th title from 27m in the men’s competition. Both title fights will climax in the all-natural setting of the Riñinahue waterfall where the King Kahekili Trophy will be awarded on October 21 and the line-up for 2018 will be decided.
The title defender in the men’s, England’s Gary Hunt, returned to imperious form to score his second victory of the season at the penultimate stop in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In doing so he reclaimed a lead at the top of the men’s overall standings and holds all the cards to bag his seventh title in nine years of the World Series. To do so, he’ll need to finish the competition into the chilly Chilean waters in 6th position or higher.
Contenders Paredes, who’s famous for immaculately displaying his dives from almost three times the Olympic platform height and currently in the runner-up position, as well as Aldridge, the winner of the US leg, definitely want to have a say in the run for the title until the final dive.
Only the top six of the 2017 World Series ranking automatically qualify for the next season. The remaining four permanent tickets for the 2018 season will be assigned according to the rankings after nine events, including the FINA world cup, the FINA world championship and Marmeeting.
In the women’s, the title for the 2017 overall win from 21m will be fought out between reigning champion Iffland, who only started her diving training last weekend after a knee injury, Jimenez, who closed the overall gap to the leader to just 60 points in the previous stop, and the youngest permanent athlete in the field, Merten. The 22-year-old is eager to take her first ever win after three podiums this year.
The top four women will make the cut for automatic qualification for 2018, while two more permanent spots are up for grabs in the Women’s World Series with an overall of eight events, including the FINA world cup and the FINA world championships, counting into the rankings.
Spotlighting cliff diving’s best, the original location in the heart of Chile’s Northern Patagonia is known not only for its breathtaking landscapes at the foot of the Andes, but also for the Riñinahue Waterfalls. Set within Parque Futangue, a forest conservation project of striking scenic beauty, laden with virgin forests, waterfalls and mountains, as well as spectacular lava fields and hot springs, will provide the perfect setting for the coronation of the 2017 champions in a season where everything comes down to the final dives.
Click here for 2017’s permanent athletes – men | women.
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for exhilarating action and dives of ever-growing complexity. The series features elite athletes as well as young up-and-coming talent and a Women’s World Series was introduced in 2014. In 2017 the sport’s best athletes will once again leap, twist and somersault from up to 27m with no protection, except their concentration, skill and physical control during six competitions around the world.
WATCH IT LIVE
This competition will be LIVE on October 21 from 3.15pm local time (6.15pm GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV and Facebook. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv.
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