|Munich 2005. The World Championship Lead competition of the future took place in Munich, Germany last Saturday and was won, deservedly and for the second time running, by Tomas Mrazek from the Czech Republic and Angela Eiter from Austria who, in doing so, magnificently crowns her mere 19 years of age. |
Munich turned out to be a competition of confirmations and surprises: Patxi Usobiaga from Spain and Emily Harrington were crowned vice champions, and this second place was so much startling to the North American champion that during the awards ceremony she was unable to hold back her tears. But the greatest surprise of all was probably young Akiyo Noguchi's third place: her best international result so far was the fourth place in the World Youth Championships 2004.
Alexandre Chabot's third place comes as no surprise, but once again he just missed out on the only title still needed in his excellent list of achievements. The French champion, "lost" more than ever this year, had an excellent competition and proved that, as always, he is a force to be reckoned with when it really counts. But before continuing with other information about the comeptition, the incredible but true story of Puigblanque has to be told. The Spaniard, who led the field after the Semifinal, placed only 10th in the Final. A technical problem on the route? No, Ramonet missed out on what could have been the final of his life due to an internal mishap in the Spanish team: he arrived two hours after isolation closure and was therefore not permitted to take part in the decisive World Championship Final. Simply unbelievable!
Even more unbelievable if you think about the Men's final route, which was dominated by Mrazek, Usobiaga and Chabot, who all topped out. The three had placed provisional second, third and fourth behind Puigblanque in the Semifinal and were therefore split on this result. Which meant that the extremely hard and spectacular second round turned out to be the match winner, and the three were separated by a hair's breadth just beneath the finishing holds: Mrazek one hold more than Usobiaga and Chabot, while Usobiaga moving off the hold which Chabot touched. What went through Ramonet's mind at this point is easy to imagine... Cedric Lachat placed fourth and confirmed his excellent form, as did Dutch revelation Jorg Verhoeven, who placed fifth. Timo Preußler, another athlete making it big in 2005, placed sixth, while the monumental and insatiable Serik Kazbekov placed seventh, ahead of teammate Maxim Petrenko 8th and Sylvain Millet 9th. Nothing doing for the current World Cup leader Flavio Crespi, who could do no better than place an extremely disappointing 16th. For him and for Puigblanque this is a competition best forgotten.
Angela Eiter on the other hand won't be forgetting Munich 2005 in a hurry. The indisputable dominator of the World Cup this and last season left no room whatsoever to the opposition to win her first ever World Championship title. Hers was the only top in the Semifinal, and her final performance was head and shoulders above the rest: a staggering 6 meters separated her from all others. After Emily Harrington and Akiyo Noguchi's surprise second and third place came the rest of the field, comprised of Olha Shalagina (4th, UKR), Caroline Ciavaldini (5th, FRA) Sandrine Levet (6th, FRA ), Natalija Gros (7th, SLO), Katharina Saurwein (8th, AUT), Yana Chereshne (9th RUS) and, to complete the final line up, the defending champion Muriel Sarkany, 10th.
As usual, the route setters need to be commended for their hard work. Headed by Donato Lella, they produced excellent routes, in particular the men's semifinal.
Let's finish off with some numbers. 184 athletes took part in the Lead competition in Munich, 116 male and 68 female. Circa 500 athletes from 55 nations have travelled to compete in the three World Championship disciplines, lead, Speed and Bouldering. In the Qualification round of the Lead event there were 147 tops (64 men and 79 women), the women needed two tops to qualify while of the 26 men who qualified for the men's semifinal all topped out on the first route and 19 reached the top on the second route. And, to top it all, almost 5000 spectators (3500 paying) watched the final. This is the beautiful future we mentioned at the start.
Competitions continue in Munich today with the bouldering event, while the World Speed Championships were won yesterday by Evgeny Vaitsekhovski from Russia and Olena Ryepko from the Ukraine.
All info directly online with the live streaming.
World Championships Lead MUnich (GER)
1 Tomás Mrazek CZE Top
2 Patxi Usobiaga ESP Top
3 Alexandre Chabot FRA Top
4 Cédric Lachat SUI 30.22-
5 Jorg Verhoeven NED 29.09+
6 Timo Preußler GER 29.09+
7 Serik Kazbekov UKR 27.51+
8 Maxim Petrenko UKR 11.96-
9 Sylvain Millet FRA 11.24+
World Championships Lead MUnich (GER)
1 Angela Eiter AUT 29.34-
2 Emily Harrington USA 23.68-
3 Akiyo Noguchi JPN 23.25+
4 Olha Shalagina UKR 22.61
5 Caroline Ciavaldini FRA 21.35
6 Sandrine Levet FRA 18.13-
7 Natalija Gros SLO 17.73
8 Katharina Saurwein AUT 17.73-
9 Yana Chereshne. RUS 17.05+
10 Muriel Sarkany BEL 16.51-