Colombia’s Orlando Duque rolled back the years with a stunning Red Bull Cliff Diving victory in São Miguel, powering past his younger rivals to land on top of the podium for the first time since 2013.
Steven LoBue of the USA and England’s Gary Hunt finished behind the sport’s charismatic legend in second and third respectively with Duque now only 20 points behind the Briton in the overall standings.
Duque said, “It was a tough competition with five or six guys that could have won going in to that last dive because the third round was horrible.
“I am not even thinking that far ahead yet in terms of the overall standings. I am experienced enough to know that it is a long season ahead of us.”
Diving off from a natural surface, it was Mexico’s Adriana Jimenez who fired herself to a first ever win in the women’s event thanks to a spectacular final dive that left her comfortably ahead of Australia’s Helena Merten in second and German Anna Bader in third.
Jimenez said: “I can’t believe it. It’s a big surprise for me. After Ireland, which was not a good competition for me, it was so hard to recover my mind after the little hit, after the hospital.
“I was lost in one dive, so it was hard for me to comeback in a good shape. I’m so happy and I’m proud of myself because I did it.”
Twenty-two athletes displayed some dazzling form from the bare rocks to wow the 1000 spectators on the water in the season’s only off-the-cliff competition – as well as the platforms – on the stunning volcanic archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic.
From the purest venue on the calendar, the cliff diving elite move on next to the sport’s European home at La Polignano a Mare, Italy, on July 23.
View Photos From Stop #2, Azores:
Results – Stop #2, Azores | POR
1. Orlando Duque (COL) – 346.50pts
2. Steven LoBue (USA) – 342.45
3. Gary Hunt (GBR) – 330.40
4. Jonathan Paredes (MEX) – 327.35
5. Kyle Mitrione (W) (USA) – 323.50
1. Gary Hunt (GBR) 330 points
2. Orlando Duque (COL) 310
3. Blake Aldridge (GBR) 220
1- Adriana Jimenez (MEX) – 303.50
2- Helena Merten (AUS) – 284.70
3- Anna Bader (W) (GER) – 281.90
4- Ginger Huber (USA) – 279.40
5- Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) – 262.80
1. Rhiannan Iffland (AUS) 290 points
2. Ginger Huber (USA) 270
3. Adriana Jimenez (MEX) 250
About Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
Since 2009, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series has provided a platform for exhilarating action and dives of ever-growing complexity. The series features elite athletes as well as young up-and-coming talent and a Women’s World Series was introduced in 2014. In 2017 the sport’s best athletes will once again leap, twist and somersault from up to 27m with no protection, except their concentration, skill and physical control during six competitions around the world.
Press release courtesy of Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series