Cliff Divers Leap from Rome’s Bridge of Angels Ahead of Season Finale

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Photo Courtesy: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

Saint Peter’s Basilica in the back, surrounded by angles and drenched in history – this is how Italy’s Alessandro De Rose and two-time champion Rhiannan Iffland from Australia experienced the early hours of the day. One after the other they leapt from the ancient Ponte Sant’Angelo, the Bridge of Angels, in the heart of Rome before heading south to Polignano a Mare, where both emerged victoriously last year. While De Rose is excited to return to the location of his debut win, Iffland targets the overall hat-trick in the women’s to become the most successful female World Series diver to date.

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(L-R) Rhiannan Iffland & Alessandro de Rose – Photo Courtesy: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

“Thinking of Polignano still gives me goose bumps, I feel excited and proud of myself,” stated De Rose, the first Italian in the World Series, “but diving from this bridge next to the Castel Sant’Angelo in my capital city is such an honour for me. It’s really special and a beautiful sensation.”

Built between 133 and 134 AD by Emperor Hadrian, the bridge connects the Eternal City to Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican and is considered one of the most beautiful bridges in the world until today. Its regularity, symmetry, openness to light, and perfect distance between arches and water surface make it unique. The highlight of the structure are the statues of the angels flanking the marble parapets, which seem to frame the river as it flows, visible through the elegant wrought iron grating.

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Rhiannan Iffland – Photo Courtesy: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

“It was a bit surreal standing up and looking around the city with Saint Peter’s right in the back. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. Not many people can say they’ve dived right in front of something so iconic to this city,” described two-time champion Iffland, who has every chance to make it a hat-trick of overall wins this weekend. “I love Polignano a Mare, it’s an important competition. It’s time to go all in. I have nothing to lose.”

In this anniversary season, three men and three women are still in contention for the overall titles from 27m and 21m as two champions will emerge from the Adriatic waters in the small coastal town where houses rise from the rocks.

Just 20 points separate the top two men and women in the fight for the King Kahekili trophy after England’s Gary Hunt and Adriana Jimenez from Mexico leapfrogged Steven LoBue (USA) and Iffland (AUS) with victory at the penultimate stop in Mostar. Never has it been so close, and thousands of passionate fans are expected to stir up a feverish atmosphere when the athletes take to the platforms built on a private balcony.

Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for aesthetic free-falls and dives of ever growing complexity, spotlighting the sport’s finest athletes as well as the most promising talents and in 2014 it introduced a Women’s World Series. Celebrating its 10th season in 2018, this rapidly progressing sport will crown two new champions during seven demanding competitions for the men and five for the women. Between June and September, this pure extreme sport will hit waters in natural and urban environments as well as remote and iconic venues of World Series classics.

The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with Red Bull Cliff Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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