The cliff diving elite returns to the Stari Most on August 28, and the stage looks set for more history to be added to this challenging location for the sixth staging of the event at this historic site.After a sensational start to the season for wildcard diver Catalin Preda in France, the Romanian just earned another chance to outshine record-champion Gary Hunt, who was forced into second place on home soil at the season opener. The diver, who represents France, is the only athlete – male or female – to repeat a win in this significant spot.For the reigning champion in the women’s category, Rhiannan Iffland of Australia, a victory in Mostar would extend her winning streak to 10 in a row across seasons, Red Bull official website reports.
With four different winners in the female category to date, the 29-year-old could add a new chapter to the cliff diving history books by repeating her 2019 win. As already witnessed in the French leg in mid-June, strong competition is expected again from the Canadian corner. Wildcard debutante Molly Carlson will be back on the 21m World Series platform following a strong second place off the rocks in Saint-Raphaël, as will Jessica Macaulay, who completed the season’s first podium.In the men’s category it’s another pair that has kept the reigning champion in check so far this year – Preda, only the second wildcard to ever win, and Constantin Popovici. The Romanians have split the year’s available victories between them with Preda winning in France and Popovici celebrating in the Oslo exhibition last weekend.
On top of that, the duo have only the best memories of the old bridge: while one finished his first-ever World Series showing on the podium in 2018 (Preda), the other came back from injury with a perfect dive and all 10s from the judges in 2019.
Coming back from injury in a standout spot also applies for Jonathan Paredes, as the Mexican will be back on the 27m platform after his training trauma in France in a first 2021 appearance. The 32-year-old champion from 2017 celebrated his first-ever win in Mostar in 2015 when the World Series was first hosted in Bosnia and Herzegovina.Opening the competition with a dive directly off the single span bridge on Thursday will not only add an extra challenge for the athletes, but will honour the long-standing local diving tradition that dates back to the 17th century, when young men started to dive from the country’s most recognisable landmark in a sort of maturity test.