Rhiannan Iffland may have entered the final event of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series trailing in the standings, but a record-breaking point haul in Polignano a Mare, Italy has confirmed her as one of the best to have ever competed.
Iffland, who is from Lake Macquarie, now carries the mantle of the best female cliff diver on the tour and in history after claiming her third championship title off the back of 342.25pts in front of more than 70,000 people at the series finals.
The 27-year-old may have had some idea she had it in her to reach the pinnacle of the sport, but she admitted it “hasn’t sunk in yet” that she’s just made history in the sport.
“I’m kind of lost for words,” she said after the record haul in Italy. “I still hasn’t sunk in yet, but I knew I had to do a consistently good platform [to get the result].”
“I knew I had to smash it really, that was all that was in my head. Go out on the platform and be yourself and do it how you know it.”
It was the mindset she needed to make history, Iffland revealed.
“I think it was a smart move, in the end, to put the most difficult dive [first] so I had more energy,” she said. “The crowd and atmosphere filled me with energy anyway, so either way I’m super stoked.”
“I love [Polignano a Mare], it’s one of my favourite stops and so it’s very special to stand up on the platform and look out and see all these people passionate about this sport looking back.”
With two victories and a second place in five events, Jimenez repeated her runner-up finish from 2017. After coming back even stronger from a year off due to injury, Switzerland-winner Lysanne Richard from Canada completed the women’s top three.
FINAL POINTS: Rhiannan Iffland (830), Adriana Jimenez (760), Lysanne Richard (690), Jessica Macaulay (600), Yana Nestsiarava (510), Ginger Huber (320), Anna Bader (220), Antonina Vyshyvanova (160), Jacquline Valente (150), Xantheia Pennisi (110).
The Red Bull Cliff Diving series will return in June, 2019.