Iffland and Hunt seal series wins as Popovici scores perfect 10

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Champions retain their titles, while Romanian wows judges in Mostar.

Mostar’s iconic Stari Most bridge played host to some of the season’s most thrilling action as the Bosnia and Herzegovina leg of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series proved decisive. Here is all you need to know:

– Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland retained her title with another dominant victory, reeling off a majestic final dive into the Neretva River to win it in style with one stop to spare.

– The result is Iffland’s sixth consecutive win of the 2019 world series; she’ll now be looking to win the final event in Bilbao, Spain to complete a perfect season.

Eleanor Townsend Smart from the USA was a new face on the podium. In her first year as a permanent diver, the 23-year-old finished her 10th appearance in second place, edging out Canada’s Lysanne Richard.

– Speaking after her win, Iffland commented: “When I saw that last set of scores, it’s always a nice feeling. I looked around and the crowd was giving me so much energy on the platform; so that helped as well. That was the motivation today definitely, but I tried to come in here with a different mental attitude to the last few years.”

– In the men’s, the UK’s Gary Hunt also made sure of the overall top spot, claiming his eighth King Kahekili Trophy on a dramatic afternoon.

– However the Brit had to settle for second place on the day after Romania’s Constantin Popovici wowed the crowd with a perfect dive to pick up five 10s from the judges. Mexico’s Jonathan Paredes rounded off the podium in third.

– It was only the second time in the history of the competition that a diver had been awarded a perfect score for a dive; the first having come at the previous event in Beirut, Lebanon when Hunt himself scooped 10s across the board.

– Popovici’s promising season had been put on hold for three months because of injury. This was his second win of the season and put him back into the fight for a permanent place on the 2020 series.

– Popovici said: “It’s great to be back, almost three months for recovery, a lot of pain, a lot of hard work. But that all paid off today and it feels great to be in such a great place like Mostar. My plan was to do four strong dives, which I did. Of course I had in mind to score a perfect 10, maybe not a perfect 10, but 9.5 and 10. I did one of those and that’s good.”

– The final event of the 2019 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series takes place in Bilbao, Spain from September 14.

Men’s results1- Constantin Popovici ROU – 448.90pts.
2- Gary Hunt GBR – 426.90
3- Jonathan Paredes MEX – 416.45
4- Alessandro De Rose (W) ITA – 413.15
5- Catalin Preda (W) ROU – 402.45
6- Andy Jones USA – 400.60
7- Oleksiy Prygorov UKR –391.35
8- Slavik Kolesnikov (W) UKR – 378.80
9- Michal Navratil CZE – 378.75
10- Sergio Guzman (W) MEX – 371.65
11- Blake Aldridge GBR – 322.05
12- Viktar Maslouski (W) BLR – 308.05
13- David Colturi USA – 207.20
14- Steven LoBue USA – 159.00

Women’s results
1- Rhiannan Iffland AUS – 358.05.pts.
2- Eleanor Townsend Smart USA 288.90
3- Lysanne Richard CAN – 284.70
4- Jessica Macaulay GBR – 280.90
5- Antonina Vyshyvanova (W) UKR – 279.15
6- Maria Paula Quintero (W) COL – 278.40
7- Genevieve Bradley (W) USA – 277.30
8- Yana Nestsiarava BLR – 265.85
9- Iris Schmidbauer (W) GER – 238.50
10- Jaki Valente (W) BRA – 165.30

Overall standings
Men
1- Gary Hunt GBR – 960pts.
2- Jonathan Paredes MEX – 590
3- Andy Jones USA – 450
4- Michal Navratil CZE – 410
5- Constantin Popovici ROU – 360

Women
1- Rhiannan Iffland AUS – 1000pts.
2- Jessica Macaulay GBR – 540
3- Yana Nestsiarava BLR – 510
4- Lysanne Richard CAN – 500
5- Eleanor Townsend Smart USA – 450

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