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Hunt closes in on cliff diving title
2:55pm Sunday 29th September 2013 in Sport
SOUTHAMPTON’S Gary Hunt moved a step nearer his fourth Red Bull Cliff Diving world title when bad weather ruled out the latest round.
The competition, in Niterói, Brazil, on Saturday, was cancelled due to the harsh and particularly windy conditions last week, unusual for the region at this time of year, which damaged the 27-metre high, 65-tonne platform conceived especially for the competition. That leaves 29-year-old Hunt still 120 points in the lead with just one leg left of the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series - set for October 26 in Krabi, Thailand.
A swell, with waves exceeding 3.5m in height and winds of up to 55kph, damaged the platform in the early hours of Thursday when it was being transported to the competition site.
Despite all efforts over a 72-hour period, repairs to the structure to complete safety requirements necessary to hold a high-level sports competition of that kind, when athletes dive 27m and reach speeds up to 90kph, could not be executed in time.
The city of Niterói was chosen for the first-ever stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series to the South American mainland to revive the tradition of a classic diving platform that existed on Icaraí Beach from 1936 to 1963. An innovative steel platform inspired by the architecture of Oscar Niemeyer was built this year to receive the world’s cliff diving elite in Brazil.
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