Indian climbers take aim at the Bouldering World Cup
As India gets ready to host the IFSC World Bouldering Cup this June, former national sport-climbing champion Sandeep Maity is training hard to make sure he winds up on the podium.
Maity, and seven other sport climbers from across the country, are on a 21-day training tour across Europe to improve India’s chances at the second consecutive world cup hosted by this country since 2016. “We did not make it to the semi-finals of the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in 2016 due to the lack of world-class coaching and training in India,” says Maity. “This Europe training tour is giving us the opportunity to train in the best conditions sport-climbing can provide abroad.”
India is yet to make a mark in the international arena, and does not have a dedicated sport-climbing federation—leaving the Indian Mountaineering Foundation to organise events. Nevertheless, the 2016 event was “an astonishing success” despite limited promotional efforts, says Girivihar, a four-decadeold mountaineering club that funds sport-climbing programmes here. Some 4,000 spectators turned out to watch 80-odd athletes from 24 countries.
While Indian sport climbers are solving bouldering problems for this June’s World Cup, there’s something bigger brewing. Sport-climbing is slated for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Ever dreamt of being on an Olympic podium, Mr Maity?