1 Aug 2013

Colombia's Duque wins inaugural high diving gold

7:30 am on 1 August 2013

Orlando Duque of Colombia has become the first men's world champion in the dizzying discipline of high diving when he launched himself from a 27-metre platform into Barcelona's harbour to win gold in the inaugural competition.

Duque, a former cliff diving world champion, topped the 13-strong field from Briton Gary Hunt and Jonathan Paredes of Mexico.

Athletes, who are described as "totally out of their minds" by Olympic 10-metre platform champion David Boudia, plummet for three seconds before smacking into the water at around 90 kilometres per hour.

Both male and female competitors - American Cesilie Carlton took gold in the women's event on Wednesday and admitted afterwards she suffers from vertigo - must land feet first to help avert injury.

Four scuba divers, two jet skis and a boat are on hand nearby in case of mishap.

Carlton and her rivals competed from a 20-metre platform.