Gary Hunt fights back to reclaim high diving world titleJuly 24, 2019
Great Britain’s Gary Hunt produced a clutch finish to reclaim his high diving title at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju.
The 2015 world champion was fourth heading into the final two rounds of the men’s 27m competition, trailing American leader Steve Lo Bue by almost 30 points.
He moved into the podium positions after the penultimate round, scoring 97.20 points with an inward triple somersaults with a half twist.
That still left Hunt 17.60 points behind Lo Bue with one dive remaining and he needed something special to upgrade from a bronze medal.
The seven-time Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion left his most difficult dive until last and reaped the rewards.
A flawless back triple somersault scored perfect 10s, stunning the crowd with a score of 156.00 points.
That ultimately helped Hunt cruise to the world title, with the Brit finishing on 442.20, almost 10 clear of silver medallist Lo Bue.
The victory proved a source of redemption for Hunt, who surrendered a medal in Budapest two years ago with an error on his final dive.
He said: “I learnt from Budapest where I left my hardest dive until last and I crumbled under the pressure.
“But I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I put a dive that I know I can do well under pressure in that last round. I woke up hungry today and felt like I had nothing to lose and all to play for.
“It means a big deal. I’ve had a great season this year.
“It’s not good to be known as somebody who crumbles under pressure and my first two rounds weren’t good and I thought it might slip away from me, but I showed that you’ve got to keep fighting until the end.”