Forth Worth, Texas, hosts the second stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2014, featuring both women and men for the first time, on Saturday, June 7.
After an exciting start to the new season from the 27m platform on the legendary Morro Castle in Cuba's capital city, Havana, the world elite of cliff diving will dive into the freshwater of the Possum Kingdom Lake in the heart of Texas. The surprise victory of Englishman Blake Aldridge in the Caribbean made for an unpredictable result and the World Series' other contenders will try and come back in style in the Lone Star State.
Diving from great heights – cliff divers launch from the height of an eight-storey building – is an art and discipline that demands bravery, artistry and physical and mental strength. The kick-off competition in May saw no fewer than five new dives – among them a never-before-seen feat by the brilliant Brit Gary Hunt, a new face on top of the podium and an increase in the average Degree of Difficulty. As the season has only just started and the divers used Stop 1 in order to find their rhythm and comfort after the long off-season, a lot can be expected from those who did not make it onto the first podium. Colombia's Orlando Duque and Artem Silchenko, from Russia, travel to Texas with added motivation and the will to win.
It's not only the aesthetic freefalls of 14 world-class high divers that will leave the spectators in awe, but also 2014's first women's competition in the World Series which features eight brave women who will challenge themselves from 20m. During the second stop of the 2014 World Series, five women from three countries – Brazil, Germany and the USA – take on the challenge of cliff diving together with three female wildcard divers. In the first of three battles this year, three American athletes will get their chance to stake a claim, but Germany's Anna Bader, winner of last year's only women's competition in Italy, is probably the one to beat.
Four wildcard divers complete the line-up in the men's. 2013 rookies Anatoliy Shabotenko and Mat Cowen are joined by former World Series diver Kent De Mond and Kyle Mitrione who make the US the most represented country on this leg with five athletes. Two out of three permanent World Series divers, David Colturi and Steven LoBue, both have a victory to their name already from previous years and the support of a huge team America can only help propel their performances.
As always, five international judges, among them for the first time this year American diving legend Greg Louganis, will assess the athletes' performances. 14 world-class high divers, eight brave women and a towering cliff in the heart of Texas provide the perfect mix for a highly-anticipated event on June 7, 2014. The action at Possum Kingdom Lake starts on Saturday at 2.30pm local time.