Macaulay and Carlson reach podium in first event at Polignano a Mare
Canadians Jessica Macaulay and Molly Carlson finished second and third while Aimee Harrison was ninth at the first of two events in Polignano a Mare, Italy, on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series tour.
Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland finished first, slightly edging out Macaulay, who finished with a combined score of 250.30.
“Going into every competition, I just focus on myself and doing the best that I can do,” Macaulay said. “This time, I was a few points away from Rhiannan, that’s as close as I’ve ever been to her, and I thought, it would be super awesome to stand on top of the podium so just striving to do as best as I can do and eventually hoping to stand on top of the podium.”
Macaulay, competing in her 16th Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event, scored 79.90 on her first-round dive and registered 62.40 points on her second-round dive.
The 28-year-old scored 108.00 on her final dive on Wednesday – the event was limited to three rounds due to weather conditions.
“I was super happy with my back triple,” said Macaulay. “When I hit the water, I honestly didn’t think it was a good dive, and then I looked at the scores and saw nines, and I was super shocked. I think it has to do with the waves. When you enter the water with the waves, the feeling on your body is different than when the water is flat.
“Once I hit the water, it felt weird, and I was a bit disappointed because I didn’t think it was a good dive, and then when I saw the scores, I was like ‘wow’. Just really happy it had a good outcome.”
Carlson finished with a combined score of 247.60. The 22-year-old scored 74.80 in the first round and 70.20 in the second round. She scored 102.60 on her final dive to secure a podium finish.
Harrison, making her Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series debut at Polignano a Mare, finished with a cumulative score of 180.95. The 27-year-old was initially supposed to compete at Downpatrick Head, Ireland, earlier this month but was sidelined with a ruptured eardrum.
The Winnipeg native scored 51.15 in the first round and 53.30 in the second round. Harrison was 11th heading into the final round, where she scored 76.50 to finish ninth.
Macaulay admitted the conditions in Italy played a role in the results.
“The conditions were crazy compared to the other times that I have been here in Polignano,” she said. “The wind was probably the windiest it has ever been. The waves were pretty heavy too, but I was most concerned about the wind.”
The divers will remain in Italy for a second competition at Polignano a Mare beginning on Saturday.
Two events at the same venue are beneficial for the divers, said Macaulay.
“Every single time we go to a new venue, we have to get used to the setting,” Macaulay explained. “It’s a bit nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing getting on a new platform and looking around and thinking ‘ok, this is a new venue with new visuals’. Now having done all of my dives here, I feel really confident going into the next competition, and I’ve gotten a lot of nerves out.”
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