Artem Silchenko the man in form

Artem Silchenko cliff diving in Copenhagen
Russian picks up where he left off during first round of competition dives in Copenhagen.

Russian Artem Silchenko picked up exactly where he left off in La Rochelle after racing into the lead during the first round of dives in Copenhagen on Friday.

Artem's flying front somersault, performed in the pike position, saw him pick up 9s from the judges, ensuring the man who was first up on the platform for Friday's competition would remain at the top going into Saturday as he bids for a second successive World Series win.

Not that Artem was entirely satisfied. He, like many of the athletes, is a perfectionist: "I cannot say that I'm very happy because flying front is my favourite dive and I think last year there was only one stop where I didn't have a 10. I want to dive for a 10 and not a 9. It's good but not my best."

The Russian's modesty aside, there seems little doubt that the 29-year-old is ready for a sustained challenge for the World Series title which encompasses a total of eight competitions.

"I feel better than in previous years because my knee feels much better – I worked on my mind, my body and my technique during the winter and now it is all coming together."

Each athlete performed a dive with a fixed degree of difficulty of 3.8 on Friday, the scores of which determined the pairings for Saturday's head-to-head.

Colombia's Orlando Duque and Mexico's Jonathan Paredes will also be very pleased with the start they've made, hitting the mark with a flying front somersault and an inward double half respectively.

The competition continues on Saturday with the head-to-head rounds which will determine the seven winners (and one lucky loser) who will advance to the eight-man final.


First-round results:
1. Artem Silchenko (RUS) - 102.60pts
2. Orlando Duque (COL) - 100.70
3. Jonathan Paredes (MEX) - 93.10
4. Michal Navratil (CZE) - 91.20
5. Anatoliy Shabotenko (UKR) - 89.30
6. Blake Aldridge (UK) - 85.50
7. Gary Hunt (UK) - 83.60
8. Cyrille Oumedjkane (FRA) - 81.70
9. Sasha Kutsenko (UKR) - 81.70
10. David Colturi (USA) - 79.80
11. Christian Wurst (GER) - 79.80
12. Kris Kolanus (POL) - 79.20
13. Steven LoBue (USA) - 76.00
14. Mat Cowen (UK) - 74.10


Head-to-head pairings:
Artem Silchenko v Mat Cowen
Orlando Duque v Steven LoBue
Jonathan Paredes v Kris Kolanus
Michal Navratil v Christian Wurst
Anatoliy Shabotenko v David Colturi
Blake Aldridge v Sasha Kutsenko
Gary Hunt v Cyrille Oumedjkane