Petra Klingler, Louna Ladevant crowned Ice Climbing World Champions 2022
On Saturday 29 January at Saas Fee in Switzerland local favourite Petra Klingler and France's Louna Ladevant won the 2022 Lead Ice Climbing World Championships. Mohsen Beheshti Rad and Natalia Savitskaia were crowned Speed World Champions on Friday 28 January.
The warm welcome given last weekend by the spectators in some ways mitigated the intense cold of the Saas Fee Ice Dome, better known as "the coldest car park in the world", which hosted the Ice Climbing Speed and Lead World Championships. The most important event of the season proved exciting and the athletes demonstrated great skill on the routes that were anything but easy.
On Friday night Russia's Natalia Savitskaia and Iran's Mohsen Beheshti Rad sprinted fastest up the 17-meter ice wall, in 11.06 seconds and 6.90 seconds respectively, claiming the Speed World Champion title. All remaining medals were awarded to Russian athletes: silver for Iuliia Filateva and Nikita Glazyrin, bronze for eternal Maria Tolokonina and Danila Bikulov.
In the Lead competition it was 2016 Boulder World Champion Petra Klingler who stole the show, making the only top in the women's final, ahead of Russia's Anastasiia Astakhova, second, and her teammate Franziska Schönbächler, third.
In the men's comp 21-year-old Frenchman Louna Ladevant climbed flawlessly, clinching the only top of the grueling men's final. The fact that he matched his ice axes seconds after the buzzer was just a minor detail as second-placed Benjamin Bosshard had fallen a meter lower to win silver. Bronze went to Tristan Ladevant, Louna's elder brother. The final scene of the 2020 World Championship - the two brothers hugging each other in joy and disbelief - was memorable.