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Arco - Rock Master 1999

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Evgueni Ovtchinnikov and Muriel Sarkany win this year's Rock Master. Read about the competition and see photos and videos in our full report.

Arco - Sunday 12th of September 1999

Final and conclusive day of this year’s Rock Master. After Friday’s “Sint Roc Bouldering Contest”, won by the excellent Daniel Andrada (ESP) and Elena Choumilova (RUS), and after the Ukranian Vladimir Zakharov’s impressive victory in Saturday’s parallel speed event, the massive, enthusiastic crowd, stretched out on the lawn, awaits the best in the world – and a thrilling competiton on the final work-out route.

The provisional ranking, based on Saturday’s onsight, sees Evgueni Ovtchinnikov in first place, ahead of Yuji Hirayama (JNP) and François Legrand (FRA). The Italian Bernardino Lagni, making his first appearance at Arco, lies fourth, ahead of his compatriot Chriastian Brenna. Muriel Sarkany (BEL) heads the female category, followed by Katie Brown (USA), Liv Sansoz (FRA), Martina Cufar (SLO) and Isabelle Bihr (FRA).

The women start the day off and the first seven athletes reveal what was to be expected; the routes, as usual set by Marzio Nardi and J.B. Tribout, are highly technical, tricky and difficult. Theirs is a split final though, with the remaining female athletes competing after the men.
So the focus now shifts to the neighbouring route, one which proves so difficult that none of the athletes reach the belay chain. The final roof section, which connects the left wall to the central face, holds the crux. Only three athletes climb past these moves; Christian Bindhammer (GER) is the first to overcome this section, but he falls almost immediately afterwards. All the other athletes fall lower down, and the crowd’s hopes turn to the penultimate competitor, François Legrand. A classy knee bar below the roof enables him to rest before setting on ever up; for an instance it looks as if he will achieve his historic fifth victory, until, at 18.88m, he falls suddenly.
All ends in the best of traditions; the immensely strong Evgueni Ovtchinnikov climbs past Legrand’s highpoint and, to a standing ovation, reaches 21.72 meters. Hirayama is pushed into third place by Legrand, in front of Bindhammer and Brenna.

After all this excitement it is now finally the women’s turn, and their competition proves to be highly intriguing, too. They start in reverse order; Bihr is followed by Cufar, Sansoz, Brown and then Sarkany. All runs smoothly until Katie Brown accidentaly touches a bolt (not used on the route) with her foot. She is allowed to continue and, slowly but inexorably, climbs higher than all the rest. But the jury, after examining the video, decides to penalise her, accepting not her highpoint but the height of the bolt. Muriel Sarkany gives a superb performance and wins this year’s competition, ahead of Liv Sansoz and Martina Cufar.

And so the curtain falls once again over Arco; Rock Master was, as so often in the past, highly popular with both the athletes and the crowd alike. And even though they seem to have hit on the right recipe for success, the Organisational Committee has announced some big changes for next year, Rock Master 2000. PlanetMountain.com will keep you informed.

Overall Ranking
1 Ovtchinnicov Eugeni 45.62 RUS         1 Sarkany Muriel 45.76 BEL
2 Legrand François 40.46 FRA 2 Sansoz Liv 45.17 FRA
3 Hirayama Yuji 36.93 JNP   3 Cufar Martina 43.71 SLO
4 Bindhammer Christian 34.61 GER 4 Bihr Isabelle 35.29 FRA
5 Brenna Christian 33.97 ITA   5 Marietta Uhden 29.85 GER
6 Lagni Bernardino 33.87 ITA 6 Iovane Luisa 29.47 ITA
7 Dewilde Paul 32.62 FRA   7 Brown Katie 29.46 USA
8 Sharma Chris 32.25 USA 8 Choumilova Elena  29.39 RUS
8 Zardini Luca 32.25 ITA   9 Lavarda Jenny 28.41 ITA
10 Krivocheicev Evgeni 32.25 UKR 10 Schultz Annatina  27.85 SUI
11 Lombard François 29.88 FRA 11 Gronkiewwicz-Marci Iwona 26.68 POL
12 Wandeler Simon 28.75 SUI 12 Busheva Yeleny 23.86 UKR
13 Giupponi Luca 27.61 ITA
14 Caude David 25.59 FRA
15 Bindhammer Andreas 24.69 GER
16 Petit François 21.16 FRA


Sint Roc Bouldering Contest
1 Andrada Daniel ESP 1 Choumilova Elena  RUS
2 Dulac Daniel FRA 2 Gronkiewicz-M. Iwona POL
3 Fairfield Timmy USA 3 Perlova Natalia UKR
4 Petit François FRA 4 Bihr Isabelle FRA
5 Rakhmetov Salavat RUS 5 Minoret Chloe FRA
6 Sharma Chris USA 6 Busheva Yeleny UKR
7 Lamiche Anthony FRA 7 Walder Ulla ITA
8 Giupponi Luca ITA 8 Artioli Martina ITA
Scarian Riccardo ITA 9 Benetti Lisa ITA
10 Ghidini Stefano ITA  
Kazbekov Serik UKR
12 Gnerro Alberto ITA
Lombard François FRA             

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NEWS / Related news:
Katie Brown
12.09.1999
Katie Brown
interview with Katie Brown by Nicoletta Costi and Nicola Noè after the 1999 edition of the Arco Rock Master.
Yuji Hirayama
12.09.1999
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Interview with Yuji Hirayama, by Vinicio Stefanello, Nicoletta Costi and Nicola Noè after the 1999 Arco Rock Master.
François Legrand
09.09.1999
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Interview with a true sport climbing legend, one of the strongest French climbers who has won everything there is to win: the invincible François Legrand.

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