Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Wildcard Catalin Preda stuns 8-time cliff diving champion Gary Hunt in France

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 15 giugno 2021

After 21 months without a competition, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series returned in dramatic style in France this weekend. Romanian wildcard Catalin Preda produced a magnificent display from 27m to score his first-ever victory in the men’s competition, while four-time champion Rhiannan Iffland from Australia was imperious once again in the women’s.Preda, appearing at only his sixth stop since his debut in 2018, began the final day in third place following Friday’s first two rounds. With the sun blazing and the sea calm and flat on the Cote D’Azur, the 29-year-old Romanian produced two immaculate dives to not only pierce the Mediterranean Sea, but also the heart of Gary Hunt, who had to settle for second place in his first appearance for France on home soil. Always looking for strong competition, the 37-year-old record champion is finally feeling the force of the Romanian high divers on his heels as Constantin Popovici finished in third place to complete the men’s first podium of the year.For Iffland, it was business as usual despite the longest break in the history of the sport. Back in 2019, the Australian produced the first-ever perfect season with seven wins out of seven, and if anything in the hiatus she has moved onto yet another level. The 80th World Series event since its introduction in France’s La Rochelle in 2009 marked the 9th victory in a row across three seasons for the Australian record winner.A massive 63 points after four dives separated her from her nearest rival, Molly Carlson from Canada, who herself was celebrating an impressive podium finish on her World Series debut. Fellow Canadian Jessica Macaulay completed the top three in this first-ever female competition into French waters.Incredibly strong performances throughout the field of 12 men and 12 women during the restart of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series underlined the determination of the divers to come back strong after the forced break. With a debutant wildcard diver in second place in the women’s category and an invited athlete in fourth in the men’s – Spain’s Carlos Gimeno who performed two world-first armstand dives in the optional rounds – the up and coming talent signals a bright future for high diving.After a strong showing in this brand-new location on the French Riviera, with the season’s first two 10s from the judges for Gary Hunt and a personal best for 29-year-old Iffland, the 24 athletes of the World Series will be back on centre stage in 8-weeks’ time for the first appearance in Norway’s capital city Oslo on August 14, 2021.

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