Red Bull Cliff Diving: Qualification Competition

Three new faces and two veteran performers splash their way into the 2013 world tour competition

© Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

Three new faces - Jonathan Paredes, Matt Cowen and Anatoliy Shabotenko - together with established cliff diver Michal Navratil and former Olympian Blake Aldridge have secured their places in the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

The tense qualification competition, which took place in front of more than 1,000 fans on the Hawkesbury River in Cattai, New South Wales, Australia, determined which five of the 13 athletes taking part would go forward to compete in the 2013 World Series.

Top of the crop was the youngest athlete in the competition, Jonathan Paredes from Mexico, who claimed first place with the highest overall score of 863.75pts. Paredes' performance pushed the Czech Republic's Michal Navratili into second place.

Anatoliy Shabotenko dives from the 26-meter platform
Anatoliy Shabotenko in full flight© Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool

The UK's Blake Aldridge regained his place from the 2012 tour after finishing third ahead of last year's wildcard entrant Anatoliy Shabotenko in fourth.

Squeezing in a last-minute qualification position was newcomer Matt Cowen from England, who jumped from 10th to fifth in the last round. He capitalised on slip-ups from some of the better placed competitors, outperforming the likes of veteran Frenchman Cyrille Oumedjkane, who missed out on qualification by just 4.30 points.

The tough competition saw the divers striving to make the cut while fighting against strong gusts of wind, rain and cold temperatures on the final day of competition.

With the 2013 line-up now complete, the qualifiers will join champ Gary Hunt, Orlando Duque, Steven Lobue, Artem Silchenko and David Colturi at the opening event World Series at the French port of La Rochelle on May 25.

The five qualified divers line up
Boys on tour© Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool

QUALIFICATION COMPETITION RESULTS
1. Jonathan Paredes | MEX | 863.75pts (Q)
2. Michal Navratil | CZE | 862.7pts (Q)
3. Blake Aldridge | UK | 835.6pts (Q)
4. Anatoliy Shabotenko | UKR | 831.5pts (Q)
5. Matt Cowen | UK | 794.2pts (Q)
6. Cyrille Oumedjkane | FRA | 789.9pts
7. Jorge Ferzuli | MEX | 781.9pts
8. Kent De Mond | USA | 780.75pts
9. Hassan Mouti | FRA | 758.45pts
10. Kris Kolanus | POL | 742.3pts
11. Alain Kohl | LUX | 703.8pts
12. Andy Jones | USA | 679.1pts
13. Todor Spasov | BUL | DNS

Much more about the Red Bull Cliff Diving 2013 World Series on the official site here.