Cliff diving

Carlson And Popovici Launch 2024 Red Bull Cliff Diving Season With Athens Wins

The long waiting comes to an end. The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2024 was about to kick off in Athens, Greece on May 26th. 2024 is a year of milestones. The men started into their 15th season while the women were entering their 10th season. The second stop in Boston will mark the 100th event! Twelve men and Twelve women launch themselves from heights of 27m and 21m, nearly three times the height of the Olympic platform. The battle for glory in the 2024 season is on and it has never been so exciting.

Canadian Molly Carlson and Constantin Popovici of Romania made it a winning start to the 2024 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Athens on Sunday as they landed the opening blow in this season's battle for the King Kahekili Trophy. Here is all you need to know:

  • Carlson, runner-up to Australian Rhiannan Iffland in the last two seasons, proved that she is up for the challenge once again, edging out the reigning champion by just 0.1 point in a thrilling duel.
  • The winner's compatriot Simone Leathead also put in a superb performance at the beautiful Lake Vouliagmeni location to finish third, just four points behind, which bodes well for the season ahead.
  • Carlson, 25, said: "Last time I went after Rhi, I couldn't really handle the pressure, so to go out and do that I'm just really proud of myself. Identical scores in the last dive, but I forgot about that little 0.1 from yesterday. Super, super cool. We absolutely love pushing each other. I think when we're all diving our best and you still come out on top, that's the most exciting feeling."
  • Romanian Popovici, making his first appearance as the defending champion, picked up where he left off last season with another dominant display from the 27m platform to bank 424.15 points overall.
  • Despite a spirited effort from talented Spainiard Carlos Gimeno, it was the Romanian who prevailed by a comfortable 29-point margin leaving James Lichtenstein of the USA to complete the men's podium.
  • Popovici, 35, said: "It feels really good to say I won the first stop, it's a good start and I hope I stay there. Sometimes injuries happen, like two days ago, and I wasn't sure how I was going to end up but the Greek gods gave me some powers today and I'm really happy about that." 
  • The next stop in the 2024 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series will be in Boston, USA on June 8.

Athens women's top three

  1. Molly Carlson CAN 323.85 points
  2. Rhiannan Iffland AUS 323.75
  3. Simone Leathead CAN 319.10

2024 women's standings (after 1 of 8 events)

  1. Molly Carlson CAN 20 points
  2. Rhiannan Iffland AUS 16
  3. Simone Leathead CAN 14

Athens men's top three

  1. Constantin Popovici ROU 424.15 points
  2. Carlos Gimeno SPA 395.70
  3. James Lichtenstein USA 384.40

2024 men's standings (after 1 of 8 events)

  1. Constantin Popovici ROU 20 points
  2. Carlos Gimeno ESP 16
  3. James Lichtenstein USA 13

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Text and photo: quattro media GmbH

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