Sandanbeki to host intl cliff diving contest / Dramatic event to be 1st of its kind held in Asia

posted on March 13, 2016

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition will be held at the Sandanbeki cliff in the town of Shirahama, Wakayama Prefecture, on Oct. 16, the first time for the event to come to Japan.

The cliff provides a scenic view as it rises along the Pacific Ocean, but it is also known as a place where many people commit suicide. The local community welcomed the cliff diving event with the expectation it will create a more positive image for the area.

In the world competition, men dive into seas and lakes from heights of 26 to 28 meters, equivalent to an eight-story building, while women dive from 20 to 21 meters. They compete on positions in the air and the difficulty of technical diving skills. The heights are more than twice those for high diving in a conventional swimming competition.

The first cliff diving event was held in 1997, organized by Red Bull, a beverage company based in Austria. It has been holding these events at scenic sightseeing spots around the world to decide the world No.1 in the sport since 2009. About 75,000 people reportedly visited last year's event held in La Rochelle, France.

The upcoming season is set to begin in June, and will take place in nine nations, seven of those for women's diving. The Sandanbeki cliff will be the site of the eighth round of the season. About 20 male and female divers will participate in the competition with an audience of about 3,000 people expected to attend. According to a company in charge of the competition's public relations, no Japanese diver has yet taken part.

source by the-japan-news
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