|After an intense season, the World Cup 2003 came to an close in Edinburgh last weekend with one name on everyones lips: Sandrine Levet. The Frenchwoman crowned off a nigh on unrepeatable year with a historic double, winning both the bouldering and difficulty events in Scotland and proving that it is, still, possible to dominate both specialities. Incredible. |
The overall 2003 results were a foregone conclusion: even before flying to Scotland Alexandre Chabot had won his third title in a row, and in Edinburgh he finished fourth. Patxi Usobiaga finally proved what he is capable of by winning his first ever World Cup stage, ahead of young Mickael Fuselier from France and teammate Sylvain Millet. Usobiagas win pushes him up to fourth overall in 2003, behind Francois Auclair and Ramón Julián Puigblanque who, despite placing a surprising 26th, placed second in 2003.
The Womens Difficulty was a foregone conclusion too, with Muriel Sarkany mirroring Chabots performance, winning her third title in a rowwell ahead of this final stage and, just like Chabot, placing fourth last weekend. As mentioned Sandrine Levet pulled off the impossible by winning both the Bouldering event on Saturday and the Difficulty on Sunday night, beating rival Chloe Minoret and young Maja Vidmar from Slovenia, second and third. Sarkanys youngest rival of late, Angela Eiter, placed fifth and had to settle for third overall in 2003, one position behind Levet.
After a three month lay-off from September to December, the long awaited grand finale finally took place. Meyer, who placed second in the World Championship in July, held his mettle to win his second overall World Cup title (2001 and 2003). His victory steered him a mere 15 points clear of Salavat Rakhmetov, second in both Scotland and 2003. Daniel Dulac qualified for yet another final and finished sixth, guaranteeing a smooth overall third place this season. Keita Mogaki from Japan, in the news recently thanks to his new Fb8c boulder, placed third.
Sandrine Levet, with five victories out of six competitions in the Bouldering World Cup, two wins in the Difficulty, various wins in international masters and, importantly, victory in the World Championship in Chamonix, could hardly have been more devastating this season. Leaving almost no room for her rivals, she forced Olga Bibik to settle for second place once more. Natalia Perlova finished fifth to ensure third overall, while Vera Kotasova from the Czech republic placed third here in Scotland.
Present and Future
2003 will surely be remembered as the year of change and challenge to domination. Sarkany and Chabot suddenly found their superiority being seriously questioned by the likes of Eiter, Puigblanque and Usobiaga, not to mention mrazec and the seemingly limitless supply of young French athletes. 2004 could finally be their year. One thing is certain though: Sarkany and Chabot wont relent the throne without a fight, nor will Levet. 2003, just like 2001, is hers. No doubt shes already in training for her trilogy.