El Nido hosts world cliff diving kickoff

 

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty-four of the world’s toughest cliff divers will see action when the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series kicks off its 11th season on April 12 to 14 in picturesque El Nido in Palawan.

 

Two platforms were constructed on the towering limestone formations of Miniloc Island – from 20 meters (66 feet) for the women competitors to as high as 27 meters (89 feet) for the male.

 

It will be a breath-taking event to see.

 

 

 

“It’s an elite and high-level competition,” said Orlando Duque, the nine-time World Series champion and considered as the face of the extreme and exciting sport of cliff diving.

 

The 45-year-old Colombian, however, is entering the 2019 season as a wildcard after an injury-plagued 2018. He hopes to do better in Palawan, which he had visited seven years ago.

 

 

 

Duque and two other competitors, Rhiannan Iffland of Australia and Xantheia Pennisi, an Australian-Filipina, are already in town.

 

Pennisi will be the first diver of Filipino descent to compete in the Red Bull World Series.

 

“I’m very excited. But there’s no pressure other than that from my mom,” said the 20-year-old, whose mother hails from Tarlac.

 

They graced a media gathering and high diving workshop yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex aquatic center, along with Eleanor Townsend Smart, founder of Clean Cliffs Project, and Marie Dimanche, head of the Philippine national diving team.

 

Young Pinoy divers, barely in their teens, looked up to the professionals as they performed some dives from the RMSC platforms, the highest at 10 meters.

 

In El Nido, they will dive from breath-taking heights.

 

 

Date: April 5, 2019 | By: Abac Cordero | Newspaper: Philippine Star | Source: https://www.philstar.com/sports/2019/04/05/1907466/el-nido-hosts-world-cliff-diving-kickoff