Cutting Edge Meets Tradition at Beating Heart of Mostar

Divers on Stari Most
Cliff divers leap into 400 years of diving history at iconic Stari Most bridge

Five-time champion Gary Hunt has unfinished business as he comes to Mostar having missed out on a win in the previous two stops – in the past six seasons the brilliant Brit has never gone more than two stops without a win. And it was amid the stunning setting of the country's most renowned landmark, where diving has been a tradition dating back to the 17th century, that Mexico's Jonathan Paredes achieved his maiden victory in 2015 to break the Brit's streak of five wins. In the women's first showing in this historic venue, Australian wildcard Rhiannan Iffland aims to continue her amazing run of form after making it 3 wins out 4 this season. The city's diving enthusiasts have warm-heartedly welcomed the 22 World Series athletes and introduced them to their preferred take-off point high above the Neretva River.

"This town kind of lives for diving and lives for this bridge. I was honoured to be present here when they did the reopening ceremony back in 2004 (after it was destroyed during the war). I have a lot of respect for what the guys do here. They're diving daily and really keeping the tradition going," Colombia's Orlando Duque, a local hero for the people of Mostar, turns out a real fan of this place, "as soon as you walk in they know who we are, they know us by name, they know what we do. They're really excited, they always welcome us with open arms. You feel like coming home." The first dives off the bridge date back more than 400 years, but the 42-year-old legendary athlete and his rivals will be displaying the cutting edge of modern-day cliff diving from a 28m platform in a spectacle expected to attract many thousands of local fans.

The athletes took some time during training to chat to the local divers about the culture and history of diving from the historic bridge. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

"It's a pleasure to be back here," says Gary Hunt as he recalls his 2015 appearance, "it was tough not being on the podium last year because this town loves the sport of diving and I want to show that I'm the best. So this year I've got some work to do but I definitely want to be on the podium and I'm aiming for first place." Will the World Series' record winner finally strike back or can Mexican Paredes, who hopes to make historic Mostar 'his place again', keep the heat on the 32-year-old Englishman?

In the women's, who will be making their debut in Mostar, Rhiannan Iffland, the 25-year-old wildcard from Australia will try to endure her remarkable form after making it 3 wins out of 4 this season. With another podium finish in Wales after breaking Iffland's winning streak in leg 3, Canada's Lysanne Richard stays in hot pursuit of the Australian. Top marks for style and poise as well as graceful dives can be expected from 20m, the actual height of the Stari Most.

Rhiannan Iffland took her first training dive from Stari Most as the women prepare to compete for the first time at this location. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

Eternalized in the city's flag and coat of arms, life in Mostar has been centred on the humpback bridge ever since its construction in the 16th century. Iconic 'Stari Most' is a place where young men from Mostar plunge into the Neretva River to prove their courage in a test of maturity. It will once again be the venue with the longest diving tradition in the World Series when 22 of the world's best cliff divers will show off their skills in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd.

Watch it Live

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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.

Note that the live webcast and replay is geo-blocked in the US due to an exclusive broadcast deal with FOX Sports. The event will air on FS1 at 10.30am (ET) on October 30.