The old expression "go jump off a bridge" has taken on a certain sporting significance in the old Yugoslav town of Mostar.
GV Competitor diving from bridge PAN TO applauding (2 shots)
SV PAN Man diving head-on as other competitors look on
SV Competitor diving head-on off bridge
LV PAN Competitor jumping off bridge landing on his knees (winner, Irfan Milavic)
GV PAN SLOW MOTION Winner of head-diving competition, Mehica Droce diving off bridge
TV SLOW MOTION Irfan Milavic diving into water
CU Droce and Milavic being congratulated by other competitors
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The old expression "go jump off a bridge" has taken on a certain sporting significance in the old Yugoslav town of Mostar. Four hundred years ago the occupying Turks built an arched stone bridge over the River Neretve in Bosnia, but they could hardly have foreseen one of its modern uses. In recent years the Bosnian national day -- celebrated annually on July 24 -- has been marked by a special contest: youths from the region compete for prizes by jumping off the highest point of the bridge's arch into the winding River Neretve below. This year fifty young competitors, known locally as the "Icaruses of Neretve", braved the 30 metre (100 foot) height to plunge either head or feet-first into the depths below the bridge. Some divers showed more courage than skill their harrowing jumps, but in spite of the height of the span, no injuries were reported. A Mostar resident Mehica Droce, won the head-first diving prize, while 31-year old factory worker Irfan Milavic took first place in the feet-first section. The Turks of four hundred years ago would never have believed it.