On a warm and sunny day of High Diving at the Yas Bay venue in Abu Dhabi, Rhiannan Iffland - the reigning 2017 and 2019FINA High Diving world champion - displayed poise and precision throughout her optional and required dives to win gold with a 359.60 point final score.
ABU DHABI (UAE) - Australia's Rhiannan Iffland was in control of the event from the first round to the end with her performance in Abu Dhabi solidifying her place of dominance in women's High Diving.
I am really excited about my performance today, I was very confident coming in this morning because I dove so strong yesterday. I wanted to make it mine, and I did it.
The rankings did not change much after the first round today as all divers must perform a dive with the same degree of difficulty. With the final round allowing each athlete to choose a dive without a degree of difficulty limit, this is where each can showcase their strengths and change the outcome of the event. The excitement increased as the order for the final round saw the highest ranked athletes dive last. The athletes did not disappoint and the varying degrees of difficulty in dives did provide impressive scores.
Silver medalist Canada’s Molly Carlson received 9’s in her required dive, but with her impressive strong takeoff in her optional dive that carried a 3.8 degree of difficulty, Carlson secured her spot on the podium.
“I am so happy to be up there at one of my first FINA events. This is how it has been going in practice, and I am just glad that I was able to do it in a competition,” Carlson said, adding: “Abu Dhabi is amazing; I am honoured to be here. It has been so fun mixing regular diving, swimming, and all sports, and having our 20-meter platform out here is a dream come true.”
The bronze medal was a battle between Belarus Yana Nestsiarava, Colombia’s Maria Paula Quintero, and Canada’s Jessica Macaulay. All three athletes brought their best, but it was Nestsiarava prevailing with a fabulous 3.9 optional dive that she nailed in execution to receive 9’s across the board to secure the bronze medal.
“I am happy, but I am still in disbelief,” Nestsiarava said. “I cannot think straight.”
Serving as the final qualifier for the FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan next May, twelve women from the FINA High Diving Qualifier in Abu Dhabi secured their place in next year’s world championships.
Based upon the final results in today’s qualifier, Molly Carlson (CAN), Yana Nestsiarava (BLR), Maria Paula Quintero (COL), Meili Carpenter (USA), Ellie Smart (USA), Iris Schmidbauer (GER), Patricia Valente (BRA), Anna Bader (GER), Aimee Harrison (CAN), Elisa Cosetti (ITA), Celia Fernandez Lopez (ESP), and Leila Saliamova (RUS) have secured their place in the Fukuoka field, with the upcoming FINA World Championships taking from 13-29 May 2022.
These 12 Fukuoka qualifiers join the top-six performers from the 18th FINA World Championships in Gwangju (KOR). These are: Rhiannan Iffland (AUS), Adriana Jimenez MEX), Jessica Macaulay (GBR), Genevieve Bradley (USA), Antonina Vyshyvanova (UKR), Xantheia Pennisi (AUS). Two FINA-selected Wild Card entries will complete the women's High Diving field for the 19th FINA World Championships.