Courtesy of quattro media
Four different male winners in as many events from the 27m platform and just two competitions to go – everything is still to play for when the world’s best cliff divers compete from Stari Most, an iconic old bridge where the tradition of high diving dates back centuries. Surrounded by a fanatical crowd of spectators, crucial championship points are up for grabs for Blake Aldridge and Gary Hunt, UK’s leading duo, as well as Mexico’s Jonathan Paredes and the US divers David Colturi and Andy Jones. While only 70 points divide the top five in the men’s, the unstoppable Australian Rhiannan Iffland continues her amazing run of form after making it 3 wins out 4 this season in the previous stop in Texas.
Former Olympian Aldridge just came up trumps in what was an unbelievably tight finish on US soil to end a four-year winless period. The new leader of the overall standings is fired up for the business end of the year: “My dream has always been to win the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, so to have an opportunity to do this this year is great,” says the 35-year-old. “Hopefully I can go to the next two stops and finish on the podium and secure a top-three spot and maybe even win the Series.”
The women’s division, however, will see a new face on top of the podium in the absence of 2016’s winner Lysanne Richard (CAN). Reigning champion Iffland comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina as the distinct leader in the current standings with a 170-point advantage over nearest rival Adriana Jimenez. With another podium finish in Texas after breaking Iffland’s winning streak across seasons, the Mexican stays in hot pursuit of the women’s record winner. Top marks for style and poise as well as graceful dives can be expected from 21m.
Built in the 16th century, the iconic bridge Stari Most gracefully arches over the emerald water of Neretva River, connecting two parts of the old town in Mostar. On both sides surrounded by fortified towers, it fits seamlessly into the landscape, creating an impressive sight. This single span stone bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the surrounding Old City of Mostar, was inaugurated with a diving exhibition by local divers as well as Colombia’s Orlando Duque in 2004 and will again be the venue with the longest diving tradition in the World Series this September.
Standings (after 4 of 6 stops)
1- Blake Aldridge (GBR) – 480pts
2- Gary Hunt (GBR) – 460
3- Jonathan Paredes (MEX) – 450
4- David Colturi (USA) – 410
4- Andy Jones (USA) – 410
1- Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) – 690pts
2- Adriana Jimenez (MEX) – 520
3- Helena Merten (AUS) – 450
4- Ginger Huber (USA) – 430
5- Tara Hyer-Tira (W) (USA) – 270
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2017 Stops:
· June 24th – Inis Mór (IRL) · July 9th – Sao Miguel, Azores (POR) · July 23rd – Polignano a Mare (ITA) · September 3rd – Texas (USA)
· September 16th – Mostar (BIH)
· October 21st – Lago Ranco (CHI)