Claudia Ruiz, FINA Press Delegate

The Colombian Orlando Duque remains the king of high diving defending his title at the FINA High Diving World Cup in Cozumel (MEX). Duque took the gold medal in the men's platform with a total of 565.80 points after five rounds. Artem Silchenko (RUS) earned silver (559.55) while Steve LoBue (USA) won the bronze medal (553.80). The audience at the dock in Cozumel Lighthouse “Caletita” enjoyed a spectacular show where 21 divers competed the last two rounds of the men's competition, which showcased incredible dives of the higher difficulty from a 27m platform.

On Day 3, Orlando Duque, almost 41, climbed from his third position to the first place winning the title for the second consecutive time after Kazan in 2014. Duque had also taken gold at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona in 2013 when the sport was first included in the programme. 

Home diver Jonathan Paredes, the public’s favourite, ranked at the fifth position, leaving the dream of a medal for the country for the next edition in 2016.

Freshly crowned in Cozumel, star athlete Orlando Duque of Colombia declared: “The competition was very hard on the first day [Friday May 8] as I ranked third but today I have executed really good dives and it paid off. I'm more than happy with the result. I am proud to win for my country as I don’t want to disappoint them. I was literally shaking up there but I managed to calm down and transform that pressure into something positive and highly motivating to perform quality dives.

Cozumel is so beautiful and amazing. The water is incredibly clear. In fact, all the conditions- weather, wind and water temperature - invite you to jump. It was my first time here but it was definitely the perfect view and scenery for high diving.

I am hoping to present a few new dives for the competition in Kazan and improve the ones I already perform. I have noticed that the pressure affects some members in my team so we need to work on this for the World’s. Now the season is underway- we have a competition next week in France but the most important goal of the year remains the FINA World Championships in Kazan.

Duque (COL), Silchenko (RUS) and LoBue (USA) taking a selfie on the podium in Cozumel. Photo: Christan Palam

High diving’s inclusion in the programme was a dream come true for me. Barcelona was such an amazing experience and Kazan will give the sport that international visibility that it needs. Hopefully one day high diving will make it to the Olympic programme. We have the support of many National Federations, from the media and most importantly from the fans. Our sport is spectacular and that can convince the IOC.”

Silver medallist of the second High Diving World Cup Artem Silchenko (RUS) said: “Cozumel is the most beautiful place I have ever seen- really amazing!

I fought for victory until the end in this competition and tried to do my best. I'm very happy with the result and I know that I have to keep working and improving all my dives. Overall it was an excellent competition.

All my counterparts will be preparing really well for Kazan so it will be hard for us all. Everyone is under pressure and wants to impress the juries and the spectators.”

Also third on the podium at the first edition of the High Diving World Cup, Steve LoBue (USA) said: “The FINA High Diving World Cup is a one-of-a-kind competition. The level is extremely high as the athletes are very well prepared.
I am super excited to compete at the World’s again in Kazan despite the pressure. So many people around the world will be watching us. We have to give all we can.”


31 high divers took part in the FINA High Diving World Cup. Photo: Christian Palma

The 2015 edition of the FINA High Diving World Cup concluded on Sunday May 10 on the Mexican island. The high divers will next meet in August for the FINA World Championships 2015 in Kazan (RUS). 10 women and 18 men are expected to present their dives in Kazan.