'Brilliant Brit' Gary Hunt takes Gold in Cliff Diving World Series

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As Britain looks longingly towards SW19, hoping Andy Murray can give us a chance to revel in some much-needed national sporting pride, a thousand miles away in Portugal an English champion you’ve never heard of has just secured another victory.

Against the perfect blue waters of Sao Miguel, former Commonwealth diver Gary Hunt walked to the end of a life-threatening 27-metre high platform, looked briefly out at the 1600 spectators below him, and leapt.

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He emerged having secured a vital victory in his quest for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series – a daredevil sport that takes in some of the most beautiful locations in the world, from the Krabi Province in Thailand to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to, well, Wales.

He now leads the pack again nine other highly-trained maniacs who year in year out fling themselves from a height that, even landing in water, carries the same level of risk as leaping from ten metres onto solid concrete.

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One misjudged somersault, spin or twist in the 3 seconds or so they have falling through the air, and these guys risk not being able to swim themselves to shore – or do much else – ever again.

And in Hunt, we happen to have the very best at it in the world - arguably Britain’s most consistent (not to mention bravest) sportsman.

A quiet presence on tour - there’s only a handful of people in the world capable of diving from these heights, and they’re a tight, often boisterous group – the slender 29-year-old from Southampton is virtually untouchable after winning the championship in 2010, 2011 and 2012. As Australian diving legend and Red Bull judge Ken Grove puts it, “he does the most difficult dives in in the world."

In the wake of this week’s victory, Hunt declared himself ecstatic with his dive as the tour prepares to break down and reassemble for the next round in Lake Garda, Northern Italy, in two weeks time.

Should Murray fail at Wimbledon and you remain hungry for some sporting success to get excited about, the ‘Brilliant Brit’ will be in Pembrokeshire, south west Wales ready to leap into the Blue Lagoon on September 14. It's one British sporting story you can probably rely on.

Check out our gallery from the Cliff Diving World Series for more pictures.