Molly Carlson, Constantin Popovici Claim High Dive Titles at World Aquatics High Diving World Cup in Fort Lauderdale


by DAN D’ADDONA — SWIMMING WORLD MANAGING EDITOR

28 May 2023, 09:19am

The World Aquatics High Diving World Cup saw some tremendous diving Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center this week.

As a qualifier for the World Aquatics Championship in Fukuoka Japan this summer, divers from all over the world competed in the high dive events at the newly renovated Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center.

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Canada’s Molly Carlson and Romania’s Constantin Popovici claimed titles on Saturday as they gear up for the world championships after automatically qualifying with their performances.

“I’m so excited to go to Fukuoka,” Carlson told World Aquatics. “Not only to be with this incredible group of high divers changing the world and pushing the sport, but to be able to see other sports and cheer for Canada in swimming and water polo.”

Carlson finished with 374.00 points, earning 121 on her fourth dive (a half-twisting forward quad with a 4.4 degree of difficulty) to have enough for the title after two days of elite diving.

“It’s definitely surreal,“ she said. “I knew deep down: if you get the right take-off, you’re going to get the perfect entry. In the air, I was like: this is it. I came up and I knew; I knew I was on top of the podium.”

Rhiannan Iffland finished second just 10.15 points behind Carlson in another stellar finish in Fort Lauderdale.

“The last dive is my bread and butter,” Iffland told World Aquatics. “I was excited to see where it was at the start of the season. Now I know what I need to do. I need a stronger take-off and I could have stood up a little more at the end. In Fukuoka, I’ll be working to chase my two gold medals from 2017 and 2019. I’m not ready to give up the top spot just yet.”

Third place went to Carlson’s training partner Jessica Macaulay.

Photo Courtesy: Eric Espada/World Aquatics

In the men’s field, the top three from Friday maintained their positions on the podium, all within 17.15 points of each other. Popovici finished with 473.90 points to pull away from the field.

Spain’s Carlos Gimeno was second with 454.40 points, followed by France’s Gary Hunt (438.15).

Popovici will also be competing on the 10m platform in Japan in an effort to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics on 10m.

“I was injured last year so the results in 2022 were not what I had expected,” he said. He recently changed coaches and clubs. “I want to win everything this year, not just in Fukuoka.”

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