Last Saturday, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series veered from the natural cliff settings typical of the high-diving event, bringing the dive platform to the heart of Boston for the fifth stop in the series.
A specially built platform on the roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art, perched 90 feet over Boston Harbor, served as the starting point for the world's elite divers. The spectacle attracted a crowd of 47,000.
The event debuted in Boston in 2011, with British diver Gary Hunt taking the win. He repeated the feat on Saturday, closing the gap to series points leader Orlando Duque, who took second behind Hunt.
“I’m really happy to end up on the podium," said Hunt. "I felt like I was missing a little bit on each dive; I think I threw up a little bit too much splash on each of the three, so it was a little bit of a worrying situation. I didn’t know if my dives were good enough, and it was really tough watching the last three divers, knowing that a really good dive could take me off the podium."
Duque, from Colombia, actually entered the final round in last place. "[Friday] was a pretty bad day for me," he said. "[T]oday, I came with the plan to do as much damage control as I could, take one dive at a time and try to make it to the final.”
Perhaps the happiest man on the podium, however, was David Colturi, who finished third for his first-ever podium finish. Better yet, Colturi hails from Boston.
“I feel incredible!" he exclaimed. "It has always been my goal to end up on the podium; I know that I'm still so new to the sport and have so much to learn, but taking away a good finish is just incredible."
"What made the difference today was being consistent in my entries," he added. "Landing feet first was something that I had to get used to. Now I look forward to keeping up the good diving for the rest of the series.”
British diver Blake Aldridge unleashed a brand-new move -- the back armstand two-and-a-half somersault with four twists free. The former European Cliff Diving champion nailed the dive for the first time in training on Friday. It's the second dive with a DD (degree of difficulty) of 6.3. Also notable was veteran Ukrainian diver Slava Polyeshchuk, who made a special farewell appearance before officially retiring from the sport.
The top five places in the overall standings remain unchanged. The divers return to action in Wales on September 8.
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