Orlando Duque, the highly decorated cliff diving legend, grabbed a lead in the overall standings at the weekend following a sixth-place finish in Polignano a Mare. Here he continues his season blog, with a new instalment coming after each of the six stops this year.
What a weekend. Polignano a Mare is one of my favorite places to dive, I feel like I am at home.
It doesn't get any better than standing on top of the platform with the best view of the city, and looking down to see the beach completely packed.
It is great as the fans all know us by name and we are appreciated as they really care for the sport. They are enjoying themselves, and so are we.
Overall this weekend I am happy as I made the finals and finished sixth but I made some mistakes and I know I can do better. However, I now lead the World Series on 380 points and I didn't believe this would be the case half way through the season as the level is so high and I am 42!
When Gary didn't make the finals, I knew he was ahead of me by only a few points so I thought if I did a couple of good dives I would probably be leading. I am conscious I need to dive better though to maintain that position.
It would be crazy if my name was still there at the end of the season. I would be the happiest guy in the world, it won't be easy, but it isn't impossible either.
I am 42 and the last one I won was in 2009. I was injured last year and finished in 7th place overall so even to have a fighting chance this year, I am very happy.
We have a break now in the series so I will get to go home after the World Championships and prepare myself for the second half of the season and take care of my body.
It is tough on the body to do three stops in four weeks. Most of us have injuries and every stop they keep getting worse and worse. You don't have much time to recover, ideally you would get two weeks to rest but it is hard.
We have the World Championships next weekend so we have to keep going, it isn't going to help with the injuries so we just have to take care of our bodies, that is what I am telling the guys all the time. The season is only half way done.
I have a lot of physiotherapy and treatment. I over extended my back on the last dive and that is a bit painful, I need to take care of that. I will rest tomorrow on the trip to Budapest but then I will be straight back in the gym and preparing.
In between training and competitions, you have to make sure you stay in shape, and I always need to remember to always wear my compression clothing and look after my ankle, which is my permanent injury.
The World Championships are probably the biggest goal for me right now as they only happen every two years. I won the first gold medal in 2013 and everyone wants this medal. It is probably the biggest in our sport. I am happy that my dives are working, I feel good and I have one more week to figure out what I did wrong here before heading into the weekend.
Speak again soon!
Watch the Polignano a Mare Replay