Puigblanque reigns in Spain, along with Eiter, Kim and Markovic
The last stage of the Lead World Cup 2011 was won in Barcelona, Spain, on Sunday night by Ramón Julian Puigblanque, while the women's event was tied by Angela Eiter, Jain Kim and Mina Markovic. The overall Cup was won by Jakob Schubert and Mina Markovic, while Ramón Julian Puigblanque and Jain Kim finished second and Sachi Amma and Maja Vidmar third.
Gold to Jakob Schubert and Mina Markovic. Silver to Ramón Julian Puigblanque and Jain Kim. And bronze to Sachi Amma and Maja Vidmar. This, in short, is the result of the ten stage 2011 competition season which started in Chamonix in July - as an appetiser for the all-important World Championship in Arco - and finished in Barcelona on Sunday.
The men's final Spanish stage went down to the wire and was won by Ramón Julian Puigblanque who beat Jakob Schubert by a hold. In doing so, Puigblanque managed to fend off Sachi Amma who finished third and was therefore forced to settle for bronze in the overall 2011 ranking. The women's event on the other hand proved less clear-cut with three athletes topping out on all four routes, namely Angela Eiter, Jain Kim and Mina Markovic. This is the third time this year that various female athletes tie for first (after Chamonix and Changzhi) and evidently goes to show just how difficult the art of route setting and perfect calibration is. This triple result meant that little changed in the World Cup ranking and Eiter finished fourth overall, behind Mina Markovic, Jain Kim and Maja Vidmar. The only Italians in the competition, Silvio Reffo and Jenny Lavarda, finished 29th and 26th respectively.
The curtain now falls on the 2011 season. What remains is obviously the fact that both Mina Markovic and Jakob Schubert have won their first-ever World Cup and while Schubert did this with impressive supremacy (7 out of 10 victories), Mina Markovic's long-term focus has now finally reaped rewards. What also remains is the conviction that 2011 was a good season for the sport climbing competition movement, with its truly international World Cup series, broadcast live via the ifsc.tv webcasting. It's clear that work needs to be done but this was certainly a year marked by important growth.
And what also remains, please allow us, are the memories of the World Championship in Arco: of magical Ramón Julian Puigblanque's perfect run and dyno to the finishing hold with the crowd going wild, and Angela Eiter's unique, inspired ascent which proved that although power and stamina are continually on the rise, they are evidently not always a substitute for technique.
|Lead World Cup 2011 - Final results after 10 competitions|