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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Steve LoBue capitalized on a mistake from Gary Hunt in the last round to win gold for the United States in men's high diving at the world championships on Sunday.
Diving from a 27-meter platform into a temporary pool on the Danube river, Hunt was leading going into the fourth round, but the British diver over-rotated his entry as he attempted a three somersaults forward with 4-1/2 twists effort. He picked up only 70 points and finished fifth.
"I definitively felt the pressure. My last dive is relatively new for me, and after four competitions in four weeks, I felt my legs shaking a bit. I had enough power on top of the board, but I had to fight with the G-force in my legs," Hunt said.
LoBue had made no mistake with his difficult 5 somersaults 1/2 twist in the tuck position, earning a round-best 113.40 points for a total of 397.15.
"It's a surreal moment. Hundreds of hours of your life come together in three seconds. I couldn't be happier," the American said. "It takes a very special person to jump from 27 meters. We do help each other a lot, as we all understand and respect the fear."
LoBue has good reason to — in May 2015 he struck his head on the platform during a diving meet in La Rochelle, France.
"Some other people would have resigned or succumb to the fear, but I competed two weeks later and I realized that it was a sort of freak accident. You have to overcome your fear," LoBue said. "After that, I changed my program to include more somersaults instead of twists."
Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic was 6.25 behind for silver, while the bronze went to Alessandro De Rose of Italy. Andy Jones, another American, was fourth.
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