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Artyom Silchenko was close to repeating his last year’s success in Italy

The fifth stage of the Red Bull World Series in cliff diving was held over the weekend with reigning champion Gary Hunt still the man to catch in the overall standings.

The cliff diving elite came together once again in the Italian city of Malcesine over the weekend for another stage of the Red Bull World Series.

High divers and experts alike announced a unanimous decision afterwards – this event was the best they have seen this year.

Mexican sensation Jonathan Paredes was the first to outshine the Italian sun. It was only the second time the 21-year-old has taken part in a World Series event, and it saw him claim fourth place only two points from the podium.

And then it was time for cliff diving’s heavyweights to show their stuff. One of the favorites for glory, Michal Navratil, sat second in the overall standings. The Czech is currently the only diver able to catch up with reigning champion Gary Hunt.

The Czech impressed the crowd with his trademark armstand dive, but this evening there were two divers who did even better. Third in the overall standings, Artyom Silchenko, who won the Italian stage last year, got off to a flawless start this time around.

Following a truly amazing execution in the preliminary round, the Russian came out for the decisive dive with a hefty lead.

One of the most difficult combinations today, a back armstand, followed by two-and-a-half somersaults and one-and-a-half twists was Silchenko’s extreme choice.

However, a few mistakes in the air along with too much splash left the Voronezh native in second position next to the title-holder, and the man the crowd were waiting to see, Gary Hunt. The Englishman ended up untouchable on the day, securing his third stage win in a row to extend his overall lead.

The most complicated dive in the sport with the highest degree of difficulty – his famous Triple Quad, and the 26-year-old made it look easy.

There are just two stops left for World Series 2011, with the next event to be hosted in Boston, USA, on August 20.

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