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Final Speed report

Qixin Zhong, Speed World Champion © Giulio Malfer

Qixin Zhong, Speed World Champion © Giulio Malfer

Last night witnessed a great Speed final here at the Arco Climbing World Championship. Qixin Zhong from China won his third world title – after Aviles in 2007 and Qinghai in 2009 – by stopping the clock at 6.26 nd, in doing so, he set an extraordinary new world record. Stanislav Kokorin from Russia sprinted faster than ever before but even his record-breaking 6.3 seconds didn’t suffice to beat supersonic Zhong.  Danylo Boldyrev from the Ukraine won bronze by beating Russian Ivan Novikov with a time of 6.66 seconds.

Zhong’s triumphal march began in the quarter finals where he easily eliminated the Venzuelan Noya (6.74 vs 9.91). Kokorin clocked in a time of  6.87 while his teammate Abdrakhmanov fell and exited prematurely from the title race. The other Semifinalist, Danylo Boldyrev from the Ukraine, eliminated veteran Libor Hroza from the Czech Republic by the smallest of margins, read 0.02 seconds. In the round that led to the final, Kokorin won the duel versus Novikov who fell, while Zhong romped home against Boldyrev: 6.82 vs 7.66.

After the small final which gave bronze to  Boldyrev while  Kokorin fell, it was time for the apotheosis, for the final showdown between Zhong and Kokorin. Theirs was an incredible duel at the speed of light which gave Zhong not only the world Champion title but also the magnificent new world record. Fantastic!

Maria Krasavina © Giulio Malfer

Maria Krasavina © Giulio Malfer

In the women’s event the quarter finals went well for Maria Krasavina and Anna Tsyganova from Russia, as well as Tamara Kuznetsova from Kazakhstan and Cuilian He from China. Tsyganova, Kuznetsova and He found it relatively easy to eliminate the Russians Alekseeva, Levochkina (one of the favourites for the title) and Titova. The same wasn’t true for Krasavina who had to race against one of the biggest names in this event: Edyta Ropek from Poland who
“gave in” after a valiant effort while  Krasavina beat her by a photo finish margin of 0.02 seconds.

In the Semifinal Maria Krasavina continued easily by beating Cuilian He, while Anna Tsyganova had little trouble against Tamara Kuznetsova. In the final Krasavina surprised everyone with her deserved vicotry aainst Tsyganova. Bronze went to Kuznetsova who beat He. The best Italian, local climber Sara Morandi, was eliminated in the 1/8 by Russian ace Yuliya Levochkina. In the end the Italian finished 11th, safe in the knowledge for having climbed in 10.5 seconds which set a new Italian record.

report by Vinicio Stefanello / planetmountain.com

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