Defending champion Gary Hunt leads FINA High Diving World Cup in Zhaoqing

2019-05-25 11:57:48 GMT2019-05-25 19:57:48(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

ZHAOQING, Southern China, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Three-time World Cup champion Gary Hunt of Britain lived up to his reputation, leading after two rounds with a day-high score on the opening day of the FINA High Diving World Cup 2019 here on Saturday.

At the first-ever permanent facility for high diving in the world, hot favorite Hunt overcame a minor mistake in his first dive to come from behind with his trademark dive 5167D (forward 3 somersaults 3 1/2 twists) for a day-high score 132.30 points in the second dive. He collected a total of 193.90 after two dives.

Alessandro de Rose of Italy sits second with 187.05 points, and Michal Navratil of Czech Republic is third with 183.75 points. Constantin Popovici of Romania, runner-up of last year in Abu Dhabi, showed the most difficult dive (armstand back 3 1/2 somersault 2 twists) and came to fourth with 176.40 points.

Hunt said he enjoyed competing in the fixed high dive venue. "This is the best conditions we've ever had in high diving. You got all the platforms to work up to 27 meters high. The rain is very small and it doesn't make a big difference. There is no wind up there, so it feels good. Apart from the rain, it's perfect conditions. I feel great," Hunt said.

"I made a small mistake in the first dive and I was sure that I could make up in the second round. I did it. I've been doing this stuff for eight or nine years now and I will try to do my best tomorrow," the defending champion added.

A total of 43 high divers from 18 federations compete in the annual World Cup. According to the high diving competition rules, the height of the men's competition is 27m and women's, 20m. All the divers perform four dives.