Hunt Grabs The Title Lead In Mostar

The LifeProof sponsored Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series touched down in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina over the weekend and what an event it was. Known as one of the most traditional high diving destinations in the World, the beloved landmark, the Stari Most has been been part of a very unique coming of age tradition for generations of locals.

In a destination steeped with tradition and myth, it was thought that Gary Hunt couldn’t claim a victory from a bridge, until last weekend that is.

Hunt returned to imperious form to score his second victory of the season at Mostar’s stunning bridge location in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, in doing so, reclaimed the lead at the top of the men’s overall standings.

American Steven LoBue also repeated his best result of the season by taking second place, while 22-year-old wildcard and World Series debutante, Nikita Fedotov of Russia, produced a surprising but stunning performance to finish in third in front of 17,000 enthusiastic fans.

In the women’s event, Cesilie Carlton of the US put a poor season behind her to fire to a first victory since 2015, with Australia’s Helena Merten finishing in second place and German wildcard Anna Bader in third, as Rhiannan Iffland‘s injury kept the title up for grabs.

Much of the build-up to this event had centred around Hunt’s previous struggles from bridges at World Series events. In four previous competitions from bridge into river he has failed to land on top of the podium, adding to this speculation was his recent dip in form from 27m.

But in one afternoon he proved the doubters wrong on both counts, returning to his brilliant best holding off the roaring challenge of an inspired LoBue and grabbing his 30th victory in 64 stops.

Hunt revealed, “I definitely felt like this was a really important competition when you look at the Series. I arrived here and on the second day.  I read an article saying that I’ve never won a competition on a bridge and that kind of got to me.  I said to myself ‘Okay, I’m going to show you I can dive off a bridge’.”

“It’s definitely exciting when the season is open on that last event. It’s a very strange feeling to finish the season when it’s already wrapped up. So it means it’s going to be a super exciting and fun event, but I’ll be carrying this victory with me and hopefully that confidence is going to help me win.”

With only the final left, Team LifeProof athlete, Jonathan Paredes is sitting in second place and within a short grasp of his first world series title. Can he claim victory in the season’s big finale in Chile?

 

Credit: Dean Treml/ Red Bull Content Pool

Alan Lund

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