Gary Hunt (GBR) and Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) were the winners of the 2019 edition of the FINA High Diving World Cup, organized in Zhaoqing (CHN) on May 25-26. This was the fourth consecutive title for the British star in this event, while the Australian ace revalidated her 2018 crown. Hunt concluded his four-dive performance with 436.70, while Iffland was the best among women in 328.85 points.
Throughout the competition, held in the first-ever permanent high diving facility in the world, Hunt controlled operations since the second round of dives, perfectly executing the combinations with high degree of difficulty. In the last round, he performed his signature dive – a back with three somersaults and four twists -, for which he got the highest score of the competition (145.60). Besides his consecutive titles since 2016, the British great was 2015 world champion in Kazan (RUS).
In Zhaoqing, the minor medals went to David Colturi (USA), silver in 400.20, and to Constantin Popovici (ROU), bronze in 397.60. It was the first medal in a FINA competition for the US representative, while Popovici had been the runner-up in the 2018 edition of the World Cup in Abu Dhabi (UAE).
The three medalists of the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest (HUN) couldn’t reach the podium – Steve LoBue (USA), the defending world champion, was sixth; Michal Navratil (CZE), second in the Magyar capital, was fourth in China; and Alessandro de Rose (ITA), third in the FINA showcase, had to content with the fifth position in Zhaoqing.
In the women’s field, Adriana Jimenez (MEX) was leading after the first two rounds, but could not challenge Iffland’s excellent two last combinations. The Mexican star, winner of the 2017 World Cup and silver medalist at the Budapest Worlds (precisely behind the Australian), finished third in 298.15. The silver medal went to Jacqueline Valente, from Brazil, a first in a FINA event, with 309.75. Lysanne Richard (CAN), the best in 2016 and second in 2018, concluded in fourth (296.10).
A total of 43 divers – 28 men and 15 women – from 18 countries took part in this World Cup, an annual event organized since 2014.
Medalists in Zhaoqing (CHN):
Winners of the past World Cups:
2014 (Kazan, RUS) – Men: Orlando Duque (COL); Women: Rachelle Simpson (USA)
2015 (Cozumel, MEX) – Men: Orlando Duque (COL); Women: Rachelle Simpson (USA)
2016 (Abu Dhabi, UAE) – Men: Gary Hunt (GBR); Women: Lysanne Richard (CAN)
2017 (Abu Dhabi, UAE) – Men: Gary Hunt (GBR); Women: Adriana Jimenez (MEX)
2018 (Abu Dhabi, UAE) – Men: Gary Hunt (GBR); Women: Rhiannan Iffland (AUS)