Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Inaugural high diving worlds make big splash in Barcelona

  • Print

BARCELONA, Spain -- High diving has taken the plunge into the sporting mainstream.

Thousands of people turned out Monday to watch 14 competitors descend from a height of 27 metres -- the equivalent of a nine-story building -- into Barcelona's harbour in the first two rounds of the inaugural men's high-diving final at the swimming world championships.

Cliff-diving great Orlando Duque totalled the day's best score of 217.10 points after a pair of tumbling plummets that ended with a loud splash as he jackknifed into the green water.

After a moment of suspense, the 38-year-old Colombian bobbed to the surface, flashed a smile and gestured an "OK" signal with both hands to ignite the cheers of the crowd amassed along the shore and fleet of sailboats.

"Winning a medal would be awesome, but winning the first one... you would always be remembered," Duque said. "It would be quite an honour."

The final continues Wednesday with three more rounds of dives off the temporary scaffold platform erected in Barcelona's old harbour, near where the famous Las Ramblas street meets the Mediterranean Sea.

Artem Silchenko of Russia is second with 215.95 points, followed by Jonathan Paredes of Mexico with 213.30. Three-time defending Red Bull series champion Gary Hunt is fourth with 213.

The women will dive from a platform of 20 metres in today's one-day final.

Hunt said it was "great" that high diving had finally become part of the world championships.

"It's been a long time since we started talking about this sport being part of a big event, and it's great to be a part of it," Hunt said. "After the first day, the crowd was packed. I think it went well. I'm happy with my dives and very much looking forward to the day after tomorrow."

High diving appears to require a measure of bravery, lunacy or both, depending on whom you ask.

China's Qiu Bo won his second world title Sunday in the men's 10-metre platform, the highest pool dive. He has no plans to go higher.

"No, I am not going to try it," Qiu said. "But I'm definitely going to watch it. I think it's amazing. It takes a lot of courage."

Qiu was not alone. Several members of the United States diving team turned out to support American high divers Steve Lobue and Kent De Mond -- and none professed a desire to try the greater height.

Just in case, scuba divers waited below the platform, submerging as the divers broke the surface in case they needed help.

No divers did. And none was hurt in an event that can cause injury if a diver fails to enter the water at a straight angle, feet first and with arms tight against the body.

While the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, with its disc jockeys and party-like atmosphere, has a surfing vibe, Hunt said, this first high diving at the worlds is more subdued and largely silent like the pool diving.

"Things are a little more official here," Hunt said. "Everything is taken very seriously... But competition-wise, it's the same."

The world swimming federation approved high diving as a full medal event only five months ago, hoping to tap into the success of the established Red Bull series that can draw thousands of spectators.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 30, 2013 D5

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Jets fans decibel level through roof for first playoff game at MTS Centre

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google