Gary Hunt, 2nd in Paris: “I have never felt so much support”

“How do you feel after this event in Paris, at home (he lives and trains in Montreuil)?
I’m happy, relieved because I was under a lot of pressure. I have never felt a competition like this, with so much support. I’m disappointed with my mistake at the end, I couldn’t continue the good results from yesterday (on Friday, he won the qualifications). But being second is good too, I’m constant (he finished 2nd in the opening round of the circuit in Boston) and I remain at the top of the ranking (general).

Tell us about this atmosphere (more than 20,000 people according to the Prefecture of Police).
It was crazy. Really a pleasure to know that everyone was supporting me here. A little stress also to know if everyone was going to be well placed, it always adds something. But I had fun. (The fan club, present)it is heartwarming.

Gary Hunt's fan club, grouped in front of the 27-meter diving board.  (B. Paquot/The Team)

Gary Hunt’s fan club, grouped in front of the 27-meter diving board. (B. Paquot/The Team)

Are you a little disappointed with your 2nd place?
Yes, I was here to win. I wanted to hear the Marseillaise on this podium (he points to the podium facing the Eiffel Tower). But I will continue to work. It is not easy. Last year it was already Catalin (Preda, winner this Saturday) who beat me at Saint-Raphaël (the French stage of the circuit last year). He did the same thing today… I have to work and try to beat him on the next stage.

What was missing today?
The entrance to the water on the last (dive). Already, I lost a few points on the first (this Saturday they had two dives) in the entrance. I made a small mistake, the angle of my feet was not good at the end. So I missed two points. And Catalin (Preda) dove perfectly from start to finish.

Do you think of a 10th world title?
It’s super hard to think about that now. I’m at the top of the leaderboard (general), but given the level of the others, I have a lot of work. I must not make mistakes on the other stages, because the others are progressing. It will surely be the most difficult season.

Would you like to relive a stage like that at home?
Yes ! I’m happy not to have this pressure at all stages but once a year, I would like to do it again next year yes!

What’s next for you?
A bit of a change of pace. I’m going to do the 10-meter synchro mixed world championship with Jade Gillet, in a week. Diving head first is another thing but I love doing it (at 27 meters, divers enter feet first). It changes my mind. Soon enough, we will be at 27 m in Copenhagen (July 16, the next stage of Red Bull Cliff Diving). »

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