By Iain Rogers
BARCELONA (Reuters) - American Cesilie Carlton became the first high diving world champion when she claimed gold in a fearsome spectacle at the inaugural championships in Barcelona on Tuesday.
Launching herself into the void from a platform a mind-boggling 20 meters above the Catalan capital's harbor, Carlton amassed 211.60 points to top the six-strong field, with compatriot Ginger Huber taking silver on 206.70 and Anna Bader of Germany the bronze with 203.90.
The men, described this week as "totally out of their minds" by 10-metre platform silver medalist David Boudia of the United States, fling themselves off an even higher platform, 27 meters above the water.
They plummet for three seconds before smacking into the water at around 90 kilometers per hour and both male and female competitors must land feet first to help avert injury.
Four scuba divers, two jet skis and one boat are on hand nearby in the water in case of mishap.
Orlando Duque of Colombia was in first place after three rounds of Monday's men's competition, which concludes on Wednesday, with Artem Silchenko of Russia in second and Mexican Jonathan Paredes third in the 13-strong field.
(Editing by Toby Davis)