Final Lead women report
There are moments you wait for all your life and which you should never miss out on. These are moments which have to be narrated right from the beginning to comprehend them fully. The magnificent 8 athletes who are competing for the Lead World title know this full well. For some of, just being there in the starting blocks is in itself an unexpected goal that has been reached. 17-year-old Austrian Magdalena Röck definitely didn’t expect to be ranked as high as provisional second. She would certainly have never expected to be ahead of her team mates Johanna Ernst and Angela Eiter. The former is the defending World Champion, while the latter won the title in both 2007 and 2005. As well as everything else that is worth winning.
Today’s final is almost too Austrian, for at the starting blocks there are also Katharina Posch and Magdalena Röck. Five in total. A true army, which may find its way barred by American Sasha DiGiulian, the last to qualify for the final. And by Slovenian Mina Markovic, the climber who made a truly important comeback in this afternoon’s Semifinal. And then, above all, there’s the extremely strong Korean Jain Kim. The only athlete who qualified for the final by touching the top hold and leaving the other climbers far below. She is definitely the woman to beat! At least that’s what everyone thinks just a few minutes before the start of the comp. The moment everybody has been waiting for will soon become reality. The immense audience knows this all too well as they wait in almost total silence for the start.
Ready, set, go. The excitement that comes with great occasions can be felt in the Climbing Stadium. Sasha DiGiulian is the first athlete to set off. She climbs confidently up the arête on the left-hand wall. She climbs quickly to the first little roof, then sets off again and continues until she reaches the large central prow. The 18-year-old American looks as if she’s racing up the route. She even takes a risk with a little dyno. She climbs high, then falls lunging towards the large blue hold… good job. But the road to the top is still difficult! It’s now the turn of the first of 5 Austrians, 22-year-old Christine Schranz. She too races up the route. By now it’s clear: the first section of the route is moderately intense. This is then followed by the the “blue” dyno… and she too falls. This is the first filter (or trap) placed by the route setters. Who will be the first athlete to climb past it? One thing is certain, this route seems to be totally different from the semifinals…
It is now Mina Markovic’s turn. Today she performed a little miracle by “recuperating” a place in the final. The crowd eagerly awaits her climb… and Mina doesn’t disappoint and demonstrates all her power… which doesn’t suffice. She fails to stick that large blue hold. Is this becoming everyone’s nightmare? There’s no time to stop and think because Katharina Posch had already set off. Everyone knows the name of the game by now and waits for her to reach the crux. Or what can also be called the “blue” nightmare. Posch falls, too. Will anyone ever manage to stick that dyno?
The time has finally come for great Angela Eiter. If there is anyone who can power through the crux, then surely it has to be her. She is tiny, but immense. Winning the Rock Master 5 times on this wall gives her unchallengeable credentials. As the mind wanders and thinks back to these victories, Eiter is already up there, at the impossible dyno. She considers it briefly, then attempts a heel hook. No one else had thought about this method. But she does, and instantly heel hooks that terrible blue hold. What an invention! A flash of inspiration. She matches and races away from the “evil” sloper. The route now becomes slightly easier. Angela resists and even catches glimpse of the top, but then falls. The audience explodes. As always, Angela Eiter doesn’t disappoint.
Next out Johanna Ernst. Things now start to become very serious indeed as the defending World Champion might double her takings. She easily sticks the first dyno on the green volume and then finds herself there, where only her team mate (and great rival) pushed on upwards. One thing is certain: even from the isolation she will have hear the audience’s roar. She dynoes without hesitation, and… falls. Even Johanna falls… This is unthinkable…
There is only one athlete in the lead now and she is Angela Eiter. But Magdalena Röck, and especially Jain Kim are still to come… Magdalena Röck is already high on the wall and then suddenly she too falls, right there where everyone expects her to. At exactly the same point where every other athlete, except one, fell. Probably though Röck isn’t all too disappointed since she is nonetheless on the podium. The only athlete that can beat Angela Eiter now is Kim. When the moment of truth strikes, where every other athlete attempted a dyno and only “tiny” Eiter found the perfect sequence, the super Korean doesn’t hesitate. She dynoes and… falls! Angela Eiter is the new Lead World Champion. All the others fell off the same hold and are split on the basis of their Semifinal result. Jain Kim wins the silver medal while bronze goes to Magdalena Röck. Angela Eiter, for the third time, is on top of the world. Once again she didn’t let this chance pass her by. Amazing!
report by Vinicio Stefanello / planetmountain.com