By Nick Butler

Orlando Duque of Colombia en route to winning the inaugural title at the FINA High Diving World Cup ©Kazan 2015Colombian star Orlando Duque finished on top at the inaugural International Swimming Federation (FINA) High Diving World Cup in Kazan to reinforce his status as the greatest athlete in the sport.

The 39-year-old, winner of the first ever FINA World Championship gold medal in the sport in Barcelona last year, was the most consistent performer across each of his five dives, from a height of 27 metres, to finish on a total of 601.20 points. 

As in Barcelona, Great Britain's Gary Hunt was the runner-up with 580.05 points, while Steve LoBue of the United States, who had led earlier in the competition, finished third. 

A field of 25 men and 16 women competed in he three-day event, which featured a total prize pool of $116,000 (£69,000/€87,000), with the winners of the male and female competitions each receiving $10,000 (£6,000/€7,400).

Colombia's Orlando Duque celebrates alongside runner-up, Britain's Gary Hunt, and third-placed American Steve LoBue ©Kazan 2015Colombia's Orlando Duque celebrates alongside runner-up, Britain's Gary Hunt, and third-placed American Steve LoBue ©Kazan 2015

There was US domination in the women's event but, like in the case of Duque, it was the most consistent performer who was rewarded as Rachelle Simpson won with 216.00 points, almost 25 points better than her main challengers.

Simpson was not present in Barcelona last year, but is the leader of the 2014 circuit of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

Compatriot Ginger Huber got the silver in 191.60, repeating the result she obtained at the 2013 Worlds in Spain, while the US clean sweep was confirmed by world champion Cesilie Carlton taking bronze.

The World Cup also provided another opportunity to showcase the city of Kazan, ahead of the city hosting the 2015 FINA World Aquatics Championships, due to take place from July 24 until August 9.

Indoor diving, water polo, swimming - both open water and indoor - and synchronised swimming will also feature on the programme in 12 months' time.

This comes a year after the city hosted the Summer Universiade, and a month after the World Fencing Championships were held there, with all of these events key components in a Russian Decade of Sport that has also included the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and will include the 2018 FIFA World Cup.