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Would you dare take this leap of faith?

August 09, 2018 08:35 IST
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For those seeking adventure, head to the ancient Bosnian town of Mostar where on can get their high by jumping off a historic bridge into a fast-flowing river.

Welcome to the annual traditional diving competition.

For those who won’t dare to do this, here’s a glimpse of what takes place.

Taking the plunge: In its 452nd year, the diving competition takes place from the Old Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was destroyed during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, but was painstakingly rebuilt after the conflict. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Each summer, a few dozen men enter the contest to take a 27-metre (89-foot) plunge from the bridge into the cold, Neretva River. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

For an ordinary jump, creating the smallest possible splash scores points. But in the eagle dive category, the bigger and louder the splash, the better. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

The first written account of young men leaping off Stari Most into the rushing waters of the Neretva comes from the 17th century Ottoman explorer Mehmed Zilli, known as Evliya Celebi, who travelled the empire for 40 years, recording his observations in his Book of Travel. Celebi wrote that, when seen from a distance, the bridge “looks round like a bow out of which an arrow has just flown, and the bow froze”. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Emil Petrovic at 16 is the youngest participant in this year’s contest. “I wanted to preserve the tradition -- but also to show that I’m grown-up and brave,” he said, adding that he had wanted to compete last year, but his mother said ‘no’. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

The trip from the top of the bridge river lasts nearly three seconds and divers reach a speed of around 80 kph (50 mph) during their falls. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Most participants opted for the safer option, jumping in feet-first, but there were the courageous few who chose the swallow dive -- a dive into water in which you hold your arms out from your sides until you are close to the water. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

And for those who don’t have the courage… Don’t worry, you can sit by the rocks and take in the adventures from the sidelines. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters
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