With his victory in Dubrovnik this Saturday afternoon the Colombian nine times world champion Orlando Duque takes the overall lead in the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series 2009. In the amphitheatre-like location of Fort Lawrence more than 7.000 spectators eye-witnessed the new generation of divers to round off the podium: Englishman Gary Hunt and Russian diver Artem Silchenko finished second and third in the south Dalmatian summer.
“Before the last round I felt a lot of pressure from my opponents, since they were doing dives with a higher degree of difficulty. In the end they made some mistakes and I was more consistent. In my third dive I felt great all the way down and although the water came up quick I managed to have a vertical water entry and got a good score from the judges. I am absolutely happy”, stated 34 year old Orlando Duque, “after three stops of the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series I am getting more and more confident with the height and that’s for sure a good sign for the remaining five stops!" The new face on the podium was Artem Silchenko, a 25 year old Russian, who recently won a cliff diving competition in Furore (ITA) ahead of eleven athletes competing in the series. Already well known in the top three is Gary Hunt from Southampton (GBR) who moved up in the placings compared to France and Netherlands and finished second. This means that the Englishman is now runner up in the overall standings, 14 points behind Orlando Duque. The Colombian has displayed his power in Croatia and leads the rankings after three out of eight competitions. With a ninth place the Ukrainian diver Andrey Ignatenko, the winner of the kick-off event in France, fell back to third place overall.
With 800.000 visitors a year, the picturesque city of Dubrovnik proved not only to be a touristic attraction but also the perfect location for the third stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series 2009. Down by the sea an amphitheatre-like setting provided just the perfect atmosphere and a little bit of shade for the 7.000 enthusiastic spectators. Those who wanted to be eye level with the divers walked up the ancient city wall opposite the island of Lokrum with Fort Lawrence and the 26m diving platform towering over it.
“My thoughts are already in Italy, a place that brings good memories to my mind – memories of winning!” With the leader already focusing on the next stop on July 26, more Adriatic enthusiasm can be expected in two weeks time when the series will be hosted in Polignano a Mare for the half time stop.