Five-time champion Gary Hunt rediscovered his winning form in stunning style on a windy day in Copenhagen. The title holder, absent from the podium in his previous two events stretching back to last season, compiled a new record high-score from his four dives in front of 40,000 fans in the Danish capital. Wildcard Kris Kolanus produced the surprise performance of the weekend, stringing together quality dives from 28 metres and powering onto the podium in second-place, a personal best finish for the Pole. Mexican Jonathan Paredes followed up his victory in Texas with another top three finish and keeps an overall lead in the 2016 World Series.
Before Saturday's competition it was the 26-year-old's goal to stay on top in the overall rankings by perfectly executing his tried and trusted dives. Pumped with the confidence of a recent win, the World Series' style master successfully accomplished this goal and once again was the diver who got awarded more 10s from the judges than anyone else in the competition. Thus perfectionist Paredes stays ahead of Hunt's diving complexity in the standings after two of nine events in 2016.
Today's top performer Gary Hunt added the 26th victory in 52 competitions to his personal World Series statistics by pushing the score after four rounds of diving to new heights (550.30pts). The 'brilliant Brit' did not need to pull off his most difficult dives but hit the day's high score with his signature dive, the back 3 somersaults 4 twists free, to make it two consecutive wins in this venue after 2015. Afterwards, the reigning champion was in jubilant mood,
"Of course I'm happy. I played the tactics card this time. I took a twist off my first Optional Dive and it worked. It was tough conditions; it was cold. But that's part of being a cliff diver; you have to be ready to adapt to all conditions. I'm an Englishman so I´m used to the cold."
Despite challenging conditions with wind gusts up to 55kmh and shivery waters, the 14 athletes did not show cold feet when diving off the platform 28m above the famous Copenhagen Opera House; and it was wildcard Kolanus, following on from a 10th place finish in the season opener, who was hot off the platform as he nailed his technique and entry to pick up the second highest score of the day. The Pole, who has now a second podium finish to his name, is only the second wildcard ever to finish in the top three. With this result in Denmark the 29-year-old gets washed into 4th overall to distance highly decorated athletes such as former Olympian Blake Aldridge (GBR) on 5th and the sport's legend Orlando Duque (COL) on 7th.
From the season's most northerly point in urban surrounding the world's cliff diving elite move on to the purest location and to an off-the-cliff competition on the Portuguese Azores on July 9. The season's third event will see the women return as they compete in the second of seven stops.
1. Gary Hunt, GBR – 550.30pts.
2. Kris Kolanus (W), POL – 505.15
3. Jonathan Paredes, MEX – 500.80
4. David Colturi, USA – 487.00
5. Orlando Duque, COL – 482.20
6. Michal Navratil, CZE – 455.05
7. Steven LoBue, USA – 415.05
8. Alain Kohl (W), LUX – 399.25
9. Sergio Guzman, MEX – 283.60
10. Andy Jones, USA – 281.80
11. Blake Aldridge, GBR – 263.95
12. Artem Silchenko, RUS – 256.70
13. Kyle Mitrione (W), USA – 150.80
14. Alessandro De Rose (W), ITA – 85.10
The live replay of the Copenhagen event is available now on www.redbullcliffdiving.com and Red Bull TV. Red Bull TV is available on connected TVs, gaming consoles, mobile devices and more. Find out more at about.redbull.tv
Note that the replay is geo-blocked in the US due to an exclusive broadcast deal with FOX Sports. The event will air on FS1 at 4pm (ET) on July 17.