The old bridge is the setting for the season’s penultimate stop
It's no wonder that Mostar's famous old bridge has served up so much recent drama. For the past three years in a row, Stari Most has played host to the penultimate stop of the season, a crucial point at which pressure can make or break an athlete's season.
Last year, Gary Hunt and Rhiannan Iffland secured their titles here, while Constantin Popovici scored five 10s for a perfect dive. In 2018, Steven LoBue allowed the British record winner back into a thrilling title fight after missing the podium. And in 2017, Iffland almost lost her crown after a poor warm up entry left her injured and out of the competition. This season expect more of the same excitement as the World Series lands back at the Neretva River for the 7th of 8 stops.
Diving off Stari Most dates back to the 17th century, when young men started to dive from the country's most recognizable landmark in a sort of maturity test in a very traditional technique. Today, the fine art of cliff diving is equally respected.
Built in the 16th century, the iconic bridge 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. Together with the surrounding part of the Old City, the bridge is on UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, and often cited as one of the most beautiful bridges in the world.
Created by Mimar Hayruddin, disciple of the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, legend has it that the builder never saw the bridge completed, as he left before the scaffolding was removed, having no strength to see if the bridge would stand. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent threatened to decapitate him if the bridge fell.
Eternalized in the city's flag and coat of arms, life in Mostar has been centred on the humpback bridge ever since its construction. Equally iconic as the bridge, is the image of a diver soaring through the air from the bridge towards the fast and cold water of Neretva River.
2019 Constantin Popovici, ROU | Rhiannan Iffland, AUS
2018 Gary Hunt, GBR | Adriana Jimenez, MEX
2017 Gary Hunt, GBR | Cesilie Carlton, USA
2016 Michal Navratil, CZE | Lysanne Richard, CAN
2015 Jonathan Paredes, MEX