|1-||Gary Hunt GBR||283.45pts|
|2-||Michal Navratil (CZE)||277.9|
|3-||Kris Kolanus POL||273.65|
|4-||Alessandro De Rose ITA||271.05|
|5-||Steven LoBue USA||270.9|
|6-||Andy Jones USA||264.35|
|7-||Jonathan Paredes MEX||257.4|
|8-||Blake Aldridge GBR||250.7|
|9-||Segio Guzman (W) MEX||235.7|
|10-||Constantin Popovici (W) ROU||234.8|
|11-||Oleksiy Prygorov (W) UKR||233.8|
|12-||Aidan Heslop (W) GBR||229.5|
|13-||Owen Weymouth (W) GBR||203.6|
|1-||Rhiannan Iffland AUS||239.65pts|
|2-||Yana Nestsiarava BLR||208.9|
|3-||Adriana Jimenez MEX||196.6|
|4-||Lysanne Richard CAN||194.9|
|5-||Ginger Huber USA||183.7|
|6-||Antonina Vyshyvanova (W) UKR||183|
|7-||Jessica Macaulay (W) GBR||179|
|8-||Xantheia Pennisi (W) AUS||174.1|
|9-||Jaki Valente (W) BRA||172.5|
|10-||Maria Paula Quintero (W) COL||155.5|
The eagles were circling, and the news was spreading that Gary Hunt, the great and powerful, was finished. After a failed final dive lost him the title in Chile last year, the Brit lost faith in his famous twisting powers and opened his account this season with 8th and 10th place finishes in Texas and Bilbao. But it seems rumours of Hunt's demise were greatly exaggerated, and after a tentative return to twisting earned him a first podium in Azores, the 34-year-old rediscovered the magic that has brought him six World Series titles to reel off three wins in a row. That stunning return to form has thrust him into a 20 point lead at the top and means that another win here, or even just staying ahead of LoBue and Paredes, will earn him title number 7.
A first win since 2015, a second straight after it, two 10s, a record-high score for a single dive...it's been a monumental season for the 33-year-old American. If it hadn't been for the sensational comeback of a certain rival, the 'spinmaster' would as good as have the title wrapped up by now. Even still, sitting in second place 20 points off the lead with one stop to go is something even he would have hardly believed after finishing 2017 in 7th place. It's already LoBue's most successful season ever, and if he can pull one more victory out of the bag, he'll be taking the men's King Kahekii trophy back to the USA for the first time.
It's been a patchy season for the reigning champion, whose three podium finishes have been dampened by a 10th and 6th place. That's not to say he has gone backwards this year; in fact his points tally in those three podium finishes would have been enough to score three victories last season. The problem is, when the Mexican has found his form in 2018, he has unfortunately ran into the juggernauts Hunt and LoBue, who have been smashing records left, right and centre. Paredes needs to win in Italy and hope those two fail badly, but any doubters need only look back at last year's finale to know that anything can happen.
The Mexican is enjoying her best season to date, and with two wins and a second place to her name this year she has been the epitome of consistency. Now into her fifth season on the World Series, it seems the 33-year-old is getting better with age. Having scored her maiden victory last season, but ultimately seeing rival Iffland surge to a second title, Jimenez knew she needed to step things up in 2018. She has certainly done that, even posting the highest ever women's total score in Mostar, and a 20 point lead in the standings means that another win here will seal the deal and earn her a first title.
The two-time World Series champion began the season as favourite to make it a hat-trick of titles and become the most decorated female in the sport's history, but just one victory in the four women's stops so far means she now has a fight on her hands at the finale. For the first time in her career she has gone two events without victory, although second place in each of those stops is hardly a sign that the Aussie has lost her powers. A repeat of her victory here last season would see the 27-year-old raising the King Kahekili trophy for the third year in a row.
The 37-year-old Canadian endured a nightmare 12 months in 2017 after a neck injury ruled her out for the whole season, but has bounced back in style this year. She opened with a fifth-place finish in Texas, improved in Azores to take her first podium of the season, before completing a sensational return to form with victory in Sisikon. Missing out on the podium at the last stop in Mostar by just four points means the path to the top is now very difficult - she must win in Italy and hope Jimenez and Iffland finish low.