Lead semifinal: difficult is beautiful
Difficult, intense and beautiful. In short, the two routes of the Lead Semifinal here in Arco. A test, demanding and exciting, to gain access to the final. 8 precious “pass” were up for grabs to continue dreaming of victory. The comp was spectacular and a hint of suspense certainly didn’t go amiss. The climbs were what dreams are made of. First and foremost those of Adam Ondra (CZE) and Ramón Julian Puigblanque (ESP), the only two capable of sending the men’s route. And then there was Jain Kim of Korea whose supreme ascent was the only one which reached the top of the women’s route.
Ondra showed total dominance, reaching the finishing hold as if it was a walk in the park: the ease with which this 17-year-old has reached the vertex of the world ranking is truly incredible. Closest rival Ramonet Puigblanque was not to be beaten though: his climbing was slow but unfailing and he even managed to correct himself and find the right moves just when everything seemed lost. Puigblanque has the stuff champions are made of and, talking of which, one doesn’t become world champion and above all 4 times winner of the Rock Master by chance!
The starting list of remaining six finalists this evening is completed by Jakob Schubert from Austria who climbed superbly to within a whisker of the top. In provisional 4th is the increasingly positive Japanese climber Sachi Amma, while the excellent Frenchman Romain Desgranges placed provisional 5th. Incredible Cedic Lachat placed 6th: the Swissman, not content with his Bouldering semifinal qualification yesterday morning, has also qualified for this evening’s Lead final… after this afternoon’s Bouldering Semi… he really is truly unstoppable. The list of finalists is completed by Sean McColl from Canada (another athlete on great form, and like Lachat another athlete who has qualified for the Boulder semis) ad Patxi Uosbiaga from Spain who, despite comitting a minor error, managed to qualify nevertheless. His duel with Ramonet and Ondra will be one of the ones to watch out for.
The women’s event will be one to watch out for, too, as the semifinal is comprised not only of the amazing Korean Jain Kim, but also an extraordinary Alexandra Eyer (the Swiss climber is enjoying the form of her life) an a fantastic Angela Eiter, the queen of Arco with 5 Rock Master victories under her belt. It’s worth noting the outstanding performance of young Austrian Katharina Posch, provisional 4th at a mere 16 years of age. Those still in the running for victory are Mina Markovic from Slovenia, Alizée Dufraisse from France, Christine Schranz from Austria and Yuka Kobayashi from Japan.
We’ll know more this evening: at 21.15 the Women’s Lead Final kicks into action and is followed, at 22.00, by the Men!
by Vinicio Stefanello, translation Nicholas Hobley