Hunt, Iffland defend titles at Zhaoqing World Cup

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-26 20:55:24|Editor: Li Xia
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Gary Hunt of Britian competes during the men's 27m match of FINA High Diving World Cup in Zhaoqing, south China's Guangdong Provience, on May 26, 2019. (Xinhua/Liu Dawei)

ZHAOQING, Southern China, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Three-time World Cup winner Gary Hunt of Britain enjoyed "home advantage" and celebrated his fourth title in a row while Rhiannan Iffland of Australia retained her championship at the FINA High Diving World Cup here at the Yingxiong Diving Center on Sunday.

As hot favorite, Hunt dominated the field all the way through four dives in two days competition and collected a total of 436.70 points for his fourth consecutive World Cup title.

David Colturi of the United States took the silver with 400.20 points and Constantin Popovici of Romania came to third with 397.60 points.

"This is the third time in six months I've come here for training at the Yingxiong permanent facility. I feel like I had the home advantage. It was really a different climate today and really nice weather," Hunt said.

"I think that last round was something special. Unlike before, as the defending champion I felt a lot of pressure on the last dive but I relied on my training, just focused on my breathing and managed to do what I needed to do," explained the British star, who combined a high degree of difficulty and an astetically pleasing dive to score a day-high 145.60 points in his last dive 5268D (back 3 somersaults 4 twists).

In the women's 20m competition, defending champion Rhiannan Iffland seemed unstoppable as she grabbed 70.20 for her 5143D (forward 2 somersaults 1 1/2 twist) and 96.90 for her 5461C (inward 3 somersaults 1/2 twist ) for a winning total of 328.85. Jacqueline Valente of Brazil finished second in 309.75 thanks to her last dive, and pace-setter Adriana Jimenez of Mexico came to third with 298.15. Lysanne Richard of Canada was 2.05 points behind, just missing out on bronze.

"I could feel the pressure and all the eyes were on me, but I could manage it. The winning feeling is perfect and being the first champion of the permanent high dive venue is cool. It is a very special World Cup this time at Yingxiong center. I hope I can come here for more training," Iffland said.

A total of 43 divers from 18 federations compete at the Yingxiong Diving Center, which was the first-ever permanent high diving facility in the world. FINA also awarded the Special Contribution Trophy to Mr. Feng Yingxiong as he designed and constructed the fixed high diving venue.

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