Fil-Australian diver excited to come home for PH debut of Red Bull Cliff Diving series
MANILA, Philippines—Filipino-Australian cliff diver, Xantheia Pennisi is making her long-awaited homecoming for the upcoming Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series this April in El Nido, Palawan.
Pennisi, whose mother is from Tarlac, is honored to be the first diver of Filipino descent to compete in the Cliff Diving World Series, which is making its only stop in Asia in the country.
“Everything happens for a reason, and this stop happened for me,” says the 20-year-old Pennisi. “I will be diving for my family and my biggest supporter, my mum.”
Pennisi, raised in Brisbane, Queensland, made her official Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series debut last year as a Wild card entry at the sixth stop in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and she is looking build on the success of her rookie year.
“For me, this year is still about learning the sport of cliff diving,” says Pennisi. “I have only been cliff diving for less than a year, so I am focusing on doing consistent dives and getting high scores. I don’t have the biggest dives yet, but I am working on them. My goal is to place in the top 5 at all the competitions.”
She is training six times a week to strengthen her core and leg for the season kick-off while mastering the execution of dives and somersaults.
“Once you have your fundamental diving skills, being consistent and confident with those dives on the lower boards will make a huge difference with the high dives,” said Pennisi.
In her first trip to the Philippines in seven years, Pennisi is also excited to immerse in the Filipino culture and food and reunite with family.
“I love the exotic fruit, especially green mango – they are my favorite!” said Pennisi. “I love the local markets and street food. The warm weather and all the incredible beaches are a great bonus, but seeing my family is my favorite part of the Philippines.”
“I feel very special to be representing Australia and the Philippines. I know my family is supporting me, and I want to make them proud.” Celest Flores-Colina