A cliff diver jumps from a platform on the landmark Raouche sea rock off the coast in Beirut. Reuters
Cliff divers used to competing in isolated spots have been leaping into the Mediterranean in bustling Beirut, the first time the Lebanese capital's landmark Raouche Rock has hosted an international contest.
Gary Hunt became the first diver in the series history to receive a perfect 10 score from each of the five judges at Sunday's competition.
In the women's contest, Australia's Rhiannan Iffland, 27, scored her sixth consecutive win of this series.
"Normally when we have cliffs like this, it is in the middle of nowhere. I have never been to a place with an amazing cliff right in the city centre," said Gary Hunt, a Briton who won the men's competition on Sunday.
The competition was the fifth of this year's Red Bull Cliff Diving Series that began its 11th season in April on El Nido Island in the Philippines and winds up in Bilbao, Spain in September.
"It doesn't matter how many times you perform a dive. You still get up there 22 metres (72 feet) high and you still have all these negative emotions," said Iffland, who has been diving since she was nine.
"To overcome that fear is something that I cannot express."
Hundreds of spectators watched the competition, which ended on Sunday, from the adjacent rocks and promenade.
Among them was 63-year-old fisherman Mohamed Itani, who said he had jumped off the cliff 36 times over the years for fun. "It is beautiful," said Itani as he watched the divers. "It makes me feel young again."
Judges mark the divers on their take-off and entry to the water and number of twists, somersaults and position in the air.
Hunt, 35, said he used to count to three just before he jumped but now just takes two breaths: one when he lifts his arms up and one when he leaps.
"There are three seconds in that air where you are just in total control. Your brain and your body decide what you do and you are completely free," he said.
Itani described a similar feeling. "You're like an eagle in the air," he said.
At a Beirut cultural centre, Lebanese film buff Abboudi Abu Jawdeh is exhibiting vintage film posters from his collection that show off a lost art, but also offer insight into decades of Western cliches of the Arab world.
Saleem told Gulf Today that he doesn’t want his family to land up in the streets…
Hundreds of retired army officers burned tires blocking main highways into Lebanon’s capital on Thursday to protest cuts to their benefits as part of the 2019 draft budget.
“The habit of cycling provides an excellent opportunity to clear mind and thoughts, besides its other healthy and nature-friendly benefits,” the envoy who is in love with cycling shared his feelings in an exclusive interview on Sunday.
Scientists in Italy are investigating the mysterious appearance of pink glacial ice in the Alps, caused by algae that accelerate the effects of climate change.
If you are planning a picnic, barbecue, or meal under the summer sun, remember to practise social distancing, keep a 6-foot distance from those who you don't live with.