Carlson second, Macaulay sixth at final event of Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series season
Molly Carlson finished second and Jessica Macaulay was sixth in Polignano a Mare, Italy—the final event of the 2021 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series season.
Carlson secured her third podium of the season with a combined score of 354.95, finishing behind Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland (383.20). Xantheia Pennisi of Australia finished third (333.00).
“I’ve been having an amazing first season, and to head into this final stop, I felt the most prepared,” said Carlson. “To put it all together and hit four dives when it mattered most felt so good. Very happy with today’s performance.”
The 23-year-old Carlson was atop the podium following Saturday’s first two rounds, where she had a combined score of 159.50. She scored 100.45 on her first dive Sunday and followed it up with 95.00 on her final dive of the competition—the inward triple half.
“It is amazing not only to finish in second place today behind my idol Rhiannan Iffland, but it’s also absolutely amazing to end the season Top 3 with my teammate Jessica Macaulay,” Carlson said. “She’s been such an inspiration to train with all year round, and I’m so excited to stand up there next season as a full series diver with my best friend.”
The Thunder Bay, ON native who started the season as a wild card finished third in the overall standings earning a permanent spot on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series for the 2022 season.
“I started this season as a wildcard, and I’ve earned a permanent spot for next season. It feels amazing,” Carlson said. “I’ve definitely had a season of a lifetime. I’ll never get a first season again, so to say that was my wildcard season feels amazing. I’m very excited for what’s next to come.”
Macaulay had a combined score of 141.80 on Saturday and entered the final rounds of the competition in fourth. She scored 76.05 on her first dive on Sunday and 92.00 on her final attempt, finishing in sixth.
The 28-year-old, who finished second in the first event at Polignano a Mare earlier in the week, admitted the quick turnaround was difficult.
“I felt I did as best as I could with the situation of competing twice in one week,” Macaulay said. “I felt like it was challenging for me to get back into the competitive mindset, having competed just a couple of days earlier. I would say the competitive mindset for me is really important. I’m really proud of myself for getting into somewhat of a decent competitive state and just doing my dives OK. I know that I tried my best, so I’m happy with how I did.”
The second event at Polignano a Mare is the first time Macaulay missed a podium this season on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
Macaulay finished second in the overall standings for the 2021 season, behind only Iffland.
“Just looking back at the entire season, I’m really proud of how consistent I’ve been and how I faced all the challenges with the wind and waves throughout the season,” she said. “Diving in all these different places without even getting a chance to go home, really not having the opportunity to train as I do at home, dealing with some minor injuries—overall proud of myself for getting through this season and coming out in the No. 2 position.”
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