The dust may have only just settled on a thrilling 10th anniversary season of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, but already attention is turning towards next year as we take a look at who has automatically qualified for a permanent spot on the tour in 2019.
Only the top four men and women in the 2018 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series final standings are already assured of a permanent place next season, along with David Colturi (USA) for whom the injury policy applies. That means that champions Gary Hunt (GBR) and Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) can begin their preparations, along with Steven LoBue (USA), Jonathan Paredes (MEX) and Michal Navratil (CZE) in the men's, and Adriana Jimenez (MEX), Lysanne Richard (CAN) and Jessica Macaulay (GBR) in the women's.
One spot is up for grabs at the FINA World Cup in Abu Dhabi in November, where the best-placed male and female diver who haven't already qualified will add their names to the list. The remaining four men and one woman will be decided by the 2018 World Ranking System, which takes into account all World Series results along with the men's Marmeeting and the FINA World Cup. With the latter still to come on November 9/10, the final line up will not be confirmed for another few weeks yet.
Judging by the current ranking, it looks likely we'll see the likes of Kris Kolanus (POL), Andy Jones (USA) and Blake Aldridge (GBR) back in the men's next season, with Alessandro De Rose (ITA), Sergio Guzman (MEX) and impressive newcomer Constantin Popovici (ROU) battling for their places. Yana Nestsiarava (BLR), who usually performs well at the FINA events, looks like a good bet to retain her place in the women's line up.
Following the FINA World Cup in Abu Dhabi next month, the full list of permanent divers for 2019 will be published on redbullcliffdiving.com.