All Roads Lead to Italy for Grand Finale

Polignano a Mare
Two champions will emerge from Adriatic at closest ever showdown in Polignano a Mare

Just 20 points separate the top two men and women in the fight for the King Kahekili trophy after England's Gary Hunt and Adriana Jimenez from Mexico leapfrogged Steven LoBue (USA) and Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) with victory at the penultimate stop in Mostar. Never has it been so close, and thousands of passionate fans are expected to stir up a feverish atmosphere when the athletes take to the platforms built on a private balcony.

In this anniversary season, three men and three women are still in contention for the overall titles from 27m and 21m as two champions will emerge from the Adriatic waters on September 23 in the small coastal town where houses rise from the rocks.

Current title favorite in the men's, six-time champion Hunt, is back in imperious form after suffering from a mental block in the first half of the season. At the penultimate stop in Mostar (BIH), it was triple delight for the 34-year-old, as the Brit not only made it a hat-trick of wins for the season, but he also took the overall World Series lead and became the only man to ever repeat a win from the Stari Most, following his win in the same spot last year.

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Gary Hunt has cruised back into form at the business end of the season to take a 20 point lead into the final stop. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

Contenders LoBue, who's won two stops back-to-back and finished a third one in second place, currently in the runner-up position, as well as title holder Jonathan Paredes from Mexico, famous for immaculately displaying his dives from almost three times the Olympic platform height, definitely want to have a say in the run for the title until the ultimate dive. Style-master Paredes knows how it is to snatch away the title from the brilliant Brit in 2017 with a near-perfect final performance.

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The three star performers in the men's - Lobue, Hunt and Paredes - but who will be celebrating atop the final podium in Polignano a Mare? Photo: Jesper Gronnemark/Red Bull Content Pool.

In the women's, the title for the 2018 overall win from 21m will be fought out between the season's three event winners: Jimenez put herself into pole position to claim a first-ever King Kahekili trophy by winning the season's last-but-one stop. The Mexican held her nerve after a stunning final dive from title rival Iffland to complete her second victory of the season and move into first place in the overall standings. After coming back even stronger from a year off due to injury, Switzerland-winner Lysanne Richard from Canada also still wants to have a shot at the overall win.

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Consistency and flawless dives have thrust Adriana Jimenez to the top of the women's standings with one competition to go. Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

While it would be a debut win for Jimenez as well as Richard, Australia's reigning two-time champion, who came in as a wildcard to become the first ever rookie champion and defend the title in her debut year as a permanent athlete, targets the overall hat-trick in the women's to become the most successful female World Series diver to date.

Spotlighting cliff diving's best, the last event of the season will also decide on who will make the cut for automatic qualification for 2019. In the men's, it's the top five of the 2018 World Series ranking while the top four women secure their spot for the next year.

Watch Live from Polignano a Mare

This event will be LIVE on September 23 at 13:10 PM CEST (11:10 AM GMT) on www.redbullcliffdiving.com, Red Bull TV, Facebook & Youtube. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv

If you miss the event or simply want to watch all the action again, the replay will be available on demand a few minutes after the event.