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World Championship Birmingham
by Luisa Jovane

Dino Lagni in Birmingham
Climbing World Campionship in Birmingham,
3-5 December 1999

The 1999 World championship was held from the 3-5 December in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena, England. The competition was characterised by superlatives: an immense hall, an incredible wall (15m overhanging and 14m high), a vast number of competitors (100 men and 70 women from 29 nations) and the largest isolation area.

Unfortunately though the warm-up area was far too small and the women had to wait for over seven hours to compete on the same quarter-final route. But apart from these two (important) factors the competition was well organised, with plenty of interesting side activities such as the talk by Alexander Huber.

For the likes of Christian Brenna or Yuji Hirayama, qualifying for the final is somewhat routine, wheras for the Italian Dino Lagni this was clearly something special. All the more so when a few minutes later proved all the predictions wrong by climbing higher than all the rest, leaving Yuji Hirayama just a few holds lower and the rest far behind.

It should be noted that Lagni is the only true “amateur” in the group of top climbers (all the others are sponsored, or are part of military sport squads): he trains after work and up untill now has not been able to really show his potential to the full.
Petrenko third, Arnaud Petit fourth, Brenna fifth, Koyamada sixth.

In the woman’s event, Liv Sansoz once again got the better of Muriel Sarkany, while Elena Ovtchinnikova placed third.

see Dino Lagni in action at the Rockmaster, Arco 1999

Birmingham wall

   Above: Dino Lagni climbing to victory in the final
   Below: the superlative wall in Birmingham
   All photos Guy Maddox

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