Colturi, Carpenter Lead USA on Day One of World Aquatics High Diving World Cup

by USA Diving

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – The World Aquatics High Diving World Cup kicked off Friday with rounds one and two of women’s 20-meter and men’s 27-meter diving at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center.

Meili Carpenter finished tied for fourth and David Colturi was sixth to lead the U.S. team, which has 10 divers in the field.

Constantin Popovici of Romania leads the men’s 27-meter competition with 217.70 points on his first two dives. Carlos Gimeno of Spain is second at 214.20, and Gary Hunt of France has 200.55 to sit third with two rounds remaining on Saturday.

Colturi leads the U.S. men with 194.70 points for sixth, including 121.90 points on his back triple somersault with three twists pike.

Nearly 60 divers from 20 countries are competing in the High Diving World Cup.

“Things are going great. This is monumental for the sport with the High Diving World Cup right here in Fort Lauderdale. This is the most number of countries and the most number of athletes that have ever attended this event, so it’s super cool. There was just a special feeling going into the event,” Colturi said. “The diving’s going well. I hit two dives today. I’m looking forward to keeping that momentum going and hopefully hitting two more tomorrow.”

USA’s James Litchenstein is in ninth place with 191.80 points after a strong round two dive. He was 17th after round one but scored 134.40 points on his armstand back 4 ½ somersaults tuck to move into the top 10. Nate Jimerson is 12th with 174.20 points, and Matt Cooper is right behind in 13th with 173.30 points. Andy Jones is 18th at 145.

Rhiannan Iffland of Australia scored 163.20 on her dives on Friday to take a .30 lead over Canada’s Molly Carlson into Saturday’s third round of women's 20-meter diving. Simone Leathead, also of Canada, is third at 154.90.

Carpenter, the top U.S. woman, is tied for fourth with Canada’s Jessica Macaulay at 149.50.

Carpenter was sixth after round one and moved up to fourth with 89.70 points on her second-round forward three somersaults with 1 ½ twists in the pike position.

“I just had a blast today. Competitions always go better when you have a good time. I was really happy with my dives, and that’s what I care about. I didn’t pay attention to scores too much, but my dives went really well and I had a good time,” Carpenter said.

USA’s Ellie Smart is 10th at 135.40 after two rounds, and Susanna Fish is 14th with 111 points. Maria Smirnov is 21st (89), and Genevieve Sangpan is 24th (76.70).

Rounds three and four will take place Saturday starting at 11 a.m. (one hour earlier than original start time).

The World Aquatics High Diving World Cup is a qualifier for this summer’s World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.