After last weekend's thrilling 2012 World Series kick-off in Corsica that witnessed the successful comeback from injury of Orlando Duque, the cliff diving elite are already preparing for the next competition in the Norwegian town of Grimstad on Saturday, July 7.
14 athletes from 11 different countries, including three wildcards, will travel to the most northerly point on the 2012 World Series calendar to participate in the highest level of competition from 27 metres.
Duque’s first victory after 14 months out, a first podium appearance for Steven LoBue and World Series champion Gary Hunt qualifying for the final under the 'lucky loser' rule were the main topics of conversation in France.
After two required dives and two optional dives, the opening competition, with the advent of the new head-to-head format, proved extremely tight, with every point precious.
It also showed again the effects on the body when you hit the water at speeds of around 85kph. British Olympian Blake Aldridge and Mexico’s Jorge Ferzuli sustained groin and thigh injuries, respectively, as a result of hard landings and were unable to finish the first stop. Both athletes have only a few days left in which to recover if they're to show their full potential in Norway.
Anatoliy Shabotenko (UKR), who finished the season opener in France in an impressive seventh place, Kris Kolanus (POL) and Todor Spasov (BUL) will complete the field of athletes as wildcard divers.
They will do so in a town, Grimstad, that is not as 'grim' as it sounds(!), with the region’s warm weather and the picturesque landscape surrounding the archipelago that stretches 500km from Oslo to the southern tip of Norway making this one of the country's top holiday destinations.
Hopes are high that the Skagerrak Strait at Barselkilen will be lit with bright sunshine and spectators are encouraged to bring their boats to watch the action unfold.