ZHAOQING, Southern China, May 24 (Xinhua) -- The first ever permanent facility for high diving in the world, Zhaoqing Yingxiong High Diving Training Center is ready for the FINA High Diving World Cup 2019 during May 25-26. A total of 43 world best high divers from 18 federations will be competing at the annual competition.
High diving, youngest aquatic discipline in FINA, has held five previous editions of FINA High Diving World Cup. Previous tournaments have been held starting in 2014 in Kazan, Russia, 2015 in Cozumel, Mexico, and in Abu Dhabi in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Yingxiong High Diving Training Center, which was constructed by Chinese previous diver Feng Yingxiong, sets a milestone for the sport and the hope is that the world class facility will attract more interest from around the world.
"The venue could not be better and will provide our athletes with the optimal conditions to perform to the very best of their ability over the next two days," said Donald Rukare, FINA Bureau Liaison during the press conference held here on Friday.
Mitch Geller, on behalf of the FINA Technical High Diving Committee, said:"I cannot express how thrilled we are to be here in the incredible Yingxiong venue. The large variety of platform heights available in this great pool and the tremendous dry land training facilities has provided optimal conditions for the athletes to prepare for this event. We will witness the most complex and difficult dives ever performed in competition."
The fixed high diving training center provides more stability and a safer environment for the athletes.
"High diving is scary, wherever you do it. Sometimes we have to worry about the wind, big waves, strong current and so on in a temporary venue. But here, all of these worries are taken away from us. So we can just enjoy ourselves," said the three-time World Cup winner Gary Hunt from Britain.
"I've come to Zhaoqing three times in the last six months and I feel the most prepared for the World Cup. I could not train 27 meters for six months during the winter before but now it's easier in this facility. It makes a big difference," Hunt added.