HARD ROCK

In­dian climbers take aim at the Boul­der­ing World Cup

India Today - - LEISURE - —Anil Nair

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?

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