Seven years after the IFSC Youth World Championships in Edinburgh, top sport climbing athletes return to the Scottish capital for the IFSC World Cup Edinburgh, the fifth Lead and Speed event of 2017. The event will take place on September 23-24 alongside the second Paraclimbing Cup of the season.
Edinburgh has consistently hosted top events for rising youth climbing stars since 2009. Young athletes from all over the world competed in Edinburgh in 2010 at the annual IFSC Youth World Championships. Now, many of those same athletes return to Scotland for IFSC World Cup Edinburgh.
Altogether, 131 Lead and Speed athletes and 63 paraclimbing athletes have registered to compete at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena this weekend.
Lead rivalries continue
Veteran athlete Jakob Schubert of Austria was unstoppable in his first IFSC Lead World Cup of the season last month, besting a strong field in Arco that included Alexander Megos, Adam Ondra, and season leader Romain Desgranges of France. Desgranges is the only man so far to win two of these events in 2017.
2010 finalists Marcello Bombardi, David Firnenburg, Stefano Ghisolfi, Masahiro Higuchi, Domen Skofic and Loic Timmermans all return to the world stage in Edinburgh with seven more years of experience at the highest level. Also follow Great Britain’s own William Bosi and James Pope, two standouts at IFSC Youth World Championships Innsbruck.
For the women, the rivalry between Slovenian Janja Garnbret, Jain Kim of Korea and Anak Verhoeven of Belgium continues this weekend. Kim ended Garnbret’s streak of victories at three in Arco, adding a 26th IFSC Lead World Cup victory to her scorecard. Verhoeven joins 2010 finalists Julia Chanourdie, Katherine Choong, Dinara Fakhritdinova and Magdalena Rock in returning to Edinburgh.
From Great Britain, keep an eye on Arco finalist Molly Thompson-Smith and 17-year-old Hannah Slaney. Ashima Shiraishi, crowned Lead youth champion for the third time at Innsbruck, is also on the start list.
Speed stars duel for Gold
Four athletes have guarded the top of IFSC Speed World Cup podiums so far: Reza Alipoushenazandifar and Vladislav Deulin for the men, and Anouck Jaubert and Iuliia Kaplina for the women. Jaubert gained ground in the Speed rankings with a victory in Arco, and frontrunner Kaplina leads a strong Russian team that has won no less than 15 medals this season. Her teammate Mariia Krasavina claimed three of them. Klaudia Buczek of Poland, youth champion in 2010, will aim for another gold medal in Edinburgh. Like Kaplina, Deulin has yet to miss a podium in 2017, and the Russian speedster returned to the top of the rankings in Arco. His teammate Stanislav Kokorin will also be in Edinburgh, as well as 2010 finalists Marcin Dzienski and Leonardo Gontero. Also keep an eye on Gontero’s Italian compatriot Ludovico Fossali, who registered the fastest time in Arco (5.81 seconds). Tune-in on September 24 to watch the action LIVE: www.ifsc-climbing.org
After inspiring fans of IFSC World Championships Paris last year with unparalleled perseverance, the best paraclimbing athletes in the world have continued to impress this year. The second Paraclimbing Cup of 2017 will also take place in Edinburgh this weekend.
Leg amputee Urko Carmona Barandiaran of Spain rebounded after an early fall in Paris kept him out of finals, topping every problem at the first Paraclimbing Cup of the season in Briancon.
Paris medallists Mathieu Besnard, Nils Helsper and Melinda Vigh won gold medals in Briancon in the RP categories (limited range, power or stability), as well as visually impaired athletes Francisco Javier Aguilar Amoedo and Roxane Heili, forearm amputee Kevin Bartke and Serge Laurencin in RP2. Also track the climbing of world champion Elodie Orbaen in RP3.