A golden dive in the final for Molly Carlson!
Montréal, September 9, 2023 – Molly Carlson put on a show Saturday in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the fifth competition of the Red Bull High-Flying World Series took place. A near-perfect final dive boosted her to the top step of the podium, keeping her in the fight for the sought-after King Kahekili trophy.
Carlson pulled out all the stops for her last dive over the Stari Most, the 16th-century bridge from which the athletes dove in this unique and exciting competition.
A breathtaking view greeted athletes as well as the many spectators gathered, and the Canadian added an extra layer of thrill by executing a quadruple jump from a standing start. Her daring paid off, as she scored 10 and 9.5, good to get her to the top of the provisional standings with a total of 378.60 points.
“Normally, I do this dive with approach steps (running), so I had to adapt it to this slightly smaller platform than usual. I’d done it in practice on Friday, so I was confident it would put me in a good position to win. I believed in it!” recounted Carlson, who was greeted with a roar of enthusiastic cheers when she emerged from the water.
“Everyone was on their feet applauding me after the jump. It was such a magical moment!”
Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland was the last competitor to take the plunge – and the only athlete who could have denied the Canadian her first gold medal of the event calendar. However, the six-time high-flying World Series champion and world title-holder came up short, taking second place instead, with a total of 361.50 points. American Eleanor Smart (322.60) completed the podium with a bronze.
“I’m really proud of my performance, especially as I really wasn’t feeling well this morning. I persevered, and couldn’t have asked for a better finish,” confessed Carlson at the end of the day. “I’ve been practising the quadruple dive a lot and it was quite a challenge. On the other hand, it shows how well we’ve worked with Stéphane (Lapointe) and how we can adapt, whatever the situation. It was one of the toughest competitions of my life and I’m really happy with the result!”
Also in action on Saturday, Jessica Macaulay (279.70) and Simone Leathead (257.20) finished 6th and 10th respectively.
“The girls did very well today! Simone is progressing well and managed three solid dives, while Jessica finished strongly to move up four places in the final ranking. All this, plus Molly who came close to diving perfection at the very end. It was a great day and there’s a lot of hard work behind this victory and these achievements,” commented a contented National Coach Stéphane Lapointe.
In Men’s diving action today, Britain’s Aidan Heslop (who trains with the Canadian Team in Montréal), took bronze with 427.85 points. Spain’s Carlos Gimeno (439.75) and Romania’s Catalin Preda (431.65) took the top two places on the podium.
The best athletes in the sport will now meet in Auckland, New Zealand on November 19, for the final stage of the high-flying World Series presented by Red Bull.
For the occasion, Molly Carlson will have her sights set on victory and more importantly, the King Kahekili trophy, awarded to the season’s overall champion. Currently in second place with 860 points, the Canuck will once again be battling it out with Rhiannan Iffland (990 points) for top honours.
“It’s been a very long time since Rhiannan was unable to her cumulative title before the last competition. Molly is one of the first divers to offer her such tough competition, and we can’t wait to see what happens next!’ noted Lapointe in conclusion.
Several Canadian junior athletes were also in Mostar over the past week, where they took part in a development camp organized by Red Bull. They’ll be back home in Canada within the next few days with new experiences, golden memories, and maybe even a new hero, courtesy of Molly Carlson!
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