Aidan Heslop Nails Risky High Dive in Final Round to Win Men’s 27-Meter World Title

by Riley Overend 7

February 17th, 2024 Diving, News

Aidan Heslop pulled off the most difficult dive in the world — a 6.2 DD forward 4 somersaults with 3 1/2 twists pike — to earn his first world title in the men’s 27-meter high diving event on Thursday in Doha, Qatar.

The 21-year-old from Great Britain scored 151.9 points with his high-stakes maneuver in the final round for a total of 422.95 points. Heslop called his performance “risky, but it’s fun.”

“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” Heslop said. “A lot of work has gone into this. That reverse twist on the first day was a little bit of a hiccup but today I was really thinking about that big [fourth] dive. I knew if I could put that down, I could be on top of the podium.

“Being at the forefront of some of the biggest dives nowadays is fun,” he added, but “to deliver those in competition is a completely different story. That [6.2 DD] dive has brought me happiness and sadness in different competitions.”

Gary Hunt (413.25) and Catalin-Petru Preda (410.20) had chances to pass Heslop with their final dives, but they came up short on their way to silver and bronze medals, respectively. The podium finishers were the only divers who totaled more than 400 points.

For the 39-year-old Hunt, it was his fifth World Championships medal in just six editions featuring high diving. The two-time world champion will now turn his attention to the Paris Olympics this summer, where he’ll compete in the 10-meter synchro event. Hunt, who now represents France internationally after beginning his career with Great Britain, vowed now to end his career with a silver medal.

“For me, diving is diving,” said Hunt, who won silver at the first Worlds with high diving in 2013. “In the air, you feel the same. For sure, it’s not easy but I will never forget how to high dive. I’m not going to leave [my career] with a silver medal. I’ll be back.

“I was not really expecting to push for the gold medal,” he added. “To find myself in this situation was a shock. I could not believe it. I pushed the last dive but with the difficulty that Aidan dives, you have to be perfect.”

Preda, 32, nearly matched Heslop with a 6.1 DD in the final round for 137.7 points. The Romanian said he wasn’t entirely pleased with his execution, but he called it “a good start.”

“It was a tight one, for all of us,” Preda said. “I came to Doha with a new dive. I felt I needed something revolutionary. It was not the best execution, but it was a start – a good start. I’ll take the result and keeping working.”

Defending champion Constantin Popovici got off to a slow start in 9th place after his first two dives. He battled back in the third round with 91.8 points, but a rough final round left him in 8th place overall.

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MarshFAN
1 month ago

I suppose both the Triple Lindy and a Belly Flop would have a higher DD?

Woods
1 month ago

Imagine if your coach said “practice is cancelled today if you jump off the 27m” – are you doing it?

Bossanova
Reply to  Woods
1 month ago

I probably would not

phelpsfan
Reply to  Woods
1 month ago

I’d be shitting myself but I’d be down to try it

Energetic Old Guy with a Photographic Memory
1 month ago

I’m curious! Anyone know the answer to this —>

QUESTION: why is the height set at 27 meters? As opposed to a number ending in “0” (30 meters) or “5” (35 meters)?

27 meters = 29.5 yards = 88.5 feet

MIKE IN DALLAS

Why should World Aquatics use rational notions and logical thinking in this matter of 27 meters? So many of their other decisions (Like a WC only months away from trials for Paris 2024) show an equal or greater level of mental fragility!

Bo Swims

No idea but women go from 20m 🤷‍♂️.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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