From the closest challenger to Gary Hunt and Artem Silchenko and four podiums in season three, to a third place in 2012’s kick-off competition in France, Michal Navratil narrowly missed out on automatic qualification for 2013 by finishing sixth overall in a rapidly-evolving sport.
The 27-year-old was forced into qualifying for the second time after 2011, showing a strong performance by leading the board until the final round. After eight dives, just 1.05 points decided first place in favour of rising star Jonathan Paredes, from Mexico, but the Czech was nevertheless delighted to having qualified for his fifth season in the World Series.
Famous for his extroverted character, “Supratil” – so called because of the Superman-style dives he performed following competitions in 2009 – is looking forward to the 2013 kick-off in La Rochelle and an expected 70,000 spectators, who help him to push his limits.
For the Czech, cliff diving means the opportunity to excel. After eight months of three diving shows per day, plus training, in China, where he worked together with Artem Silchenko, Michal signed up to perform on one of the world’s biggest cruise ships, the Royal Caribbean. Working alongside celebrities, like singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, the Caribbean has been his ‘home’ ever since September 2009.
“The qualification was a pressure competition because one mistake could cost you your place in the top five. I got some nice scores and made no fatal mistakes. It was only in the last dive that Jonathan beat me by one point. I can’t wait for the season to begin!”