Gripped at the Inns­bruck World Cham­pi­onships

Gripped - - NEWS -

Gripped’s ed­i­tor Bran­don Pul­lan was on hand at the Inns­bruck World Cham­pi­onships on a press trip with Black Di­a­mond as part of the Road to Tokyo cam­paign. The com­pe­ti­tion, which takes place ev­ery two years, was a 10-day event with the world’s best in­door climbers go­ing head to head on the most cut­ting-edge ar­ti­fi­cial walls ever made. Aus­tria’s Jakob Schu­bert, lead world cham­pion, and boul­der­ing world cham­pion, Janja Garn­bret from Slove­nia, claimed the com­bined world ti­tles. The comp was nearly non­stop, top-level climb­ing that ended with the com­bined re­sults, the first of its kind at the ifsc World Cham­pi­onships. The six top­scor­ing men and women ath­letes com­pet­ing in boul­der­ing, lead and speed in Inns­bruck qual­i­fied to climb in all three dis­ci­plines on the fi­nal day, a show­down of the best all-round com­peti­tors for the cov­eted com­bined world ti­tle. It’s the same for­mat that will be used at the 2020 Olympics.

As the ifsc re­ported, the com­bined world ti­tle came down to en­durance on the tow­er­ing lead wall where fi­nal­ists had six min­utes to climb as high as pos­si­ble, with time-break­ing ties. Pow­er­ful moves led to a jump into the steep­est mid­dle sec­tion with hard to place feet, end­ing with dy­namic moves and a leap to the top hold. “It was one of the most ex­cit­ing live events I’ve ever been to,” said Pul­lan who worked at the 2010 Van­cou­ver Olympics. “The emo­tional con­nec­tion you build with the par­a­climbers, the strength and speed of the speed climbers and the great show­man­ship of the ath­letes com­bined to make it one of the most en­ter­tain­ing climb­ing com­pe­ti­tions that has ever taken place. As we saw at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, climb­ing is an Olympic-level sport that will in­spire count­less young climbers to push them­selves.”

Pul­lan was on hand to watch Cana­dian par­a­climber Kate Saw­ford win sil­ver the AL-2 cat­e­gory (leg am­putee). He also got to watch the many Cana­di­ans com­pete in qual­i­fiers, in­clud­ing Seb Lazure. “For the first time the cec was able to to­tally fund the trip of the team that they sent to the world cham­pi­onships,” said Lazure, “so for the first time we are re­ally trav­el­ling as one team, stay­ing all to­gether at the same place and hav­ing a coach and a ther­a­pist with us. We also had a brand­new com­plete uni­form by mec. It feels a lot more pro­fes­sional and it is fun shar­ing this ex­pe­ri­ence with ev­ery­one. Over­all as an event it­self these cham­pi­onships have been one of the best. The at­mos­phere was great and the or­ga­ni­za­tion was on point. It has been su­per in­spir­ing to watch ev­ery­one push their lim­its in ev­ery dis­ci­pline and cheer on each other.”—Gripped

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