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Sarkany and Mrazek World Champions


Muriel Sarkany and Tomas Mrazek win the World Championship 2003 in Chamonix

Muriel Sarkany and Tomás Mrazek are the winners of the Difficulty World Championship 2003. After winning almost all there is to win over the last couple of years, the Belgian deservedly adds the missing World Championship title to her long list of victories. Mrazek's win is finally "official" confirmation of his immense strength which, all too often, brought him to within a whisker from true victory.

Mrazek powered up through the technical bulges on Sunday evening and, although not able to reach the finishing holds, climbed almost 2 meters higher than closest rival Patxi Usobiaga. The Spaniard's second place comes as a small surprise to some, pushing Frenchman David Caude into an excellent third place. The evening's real surprise came from none other than Alexandre Chabot himself, who in the end placed fifth overall.

Arguably this change at the top
has been in the making for a while, and the last few competitions showed how equally spread the top male competitors have now become. Unbeatable Chabot suddenly "seems" slightly more human, demonstrating that he too can be off form and in difficulty. And this will no doubt have a positve psychological effect on his adversaries, as they now know that, he too, is vunerable. Christian Bindhammer's fourth place is worth underlining: never somone who gives up, Christian is well capable of top positions any time. The remaining finalists finished as follows: Sylvain Millet sixth, Ramon Julien Puigblanque seventh and Evgueni Ovtchinnikov eigth.

In the women's event Sarkany had no rivals and missed the top. Two meters lower down six finalists battled it out on one hold, with some touching, and others holding the hold, and Emilie Pouget moving off from it. Pouget placed second, ahead of teammate Sandrine Levet. Levet hoped to do the unprecedented grand Slam by winning both the Bouldering and the Difficulty events, but in the end placed third. Jenny Lavarda from Italy placed fourth, ahead of Alexandra Eyer, Caroline Ciavaldini and Angela Eiter, fifth to seventh respectively.

The crowd, estimated at 12000 for Sunday's final, crownd the event. As if to say, just like in Lecco, that this sport potentially has all the right credentials to make it big.

all results

Results women
    Final 1/2 Final 1/4-Final
1 Sarkany Muriel BEL 24.60- Top Top
2 Pouget Emilie FRA 22.27+ 18.15- Top
3 Levet Sandrine FRA 22.27 Top Top
4 Lavarda Jenny ITA 22.27- 18.15 Top
5 Eyer Alexandra SUI 22.27- 18.15- Top
6 Ciavaldini Caroline FRA 22.27- 16.94 Top
7 Eiter Angela AUT 22.27- 16.94- Top
8 Bacher Barbara AUT 20.12 17.42+ Top
9 Harrington Emily USA 17.72- 16.94- Top
10 Shalahina Olha UKR 7.26- 16.94- Top
11 Novikova Natalia RUS   16.94- 17.51+
12 Cufar Martina SLO   16.01+ Top
12 Schöpf Bettina AUT   16.01+ Top
14 Ostapenko Alena UKR   16.01 19.92-
15 Hnizdilova Sona CZE   14.74- 17.51+

Results men
    Final 1/2 Final 1/4 Final
via 1
1/4 Final
via 2
1 Mrazek Tomás CZE 23.55- 22.50- Top  
2 Usobiaga Patxi ESP 21.29+ 20.64-   Top
3 Caude David FRA 21.29 24.24+ Top  
4 Bindhammer Christian GER 15.40- 20.64 Top  
5 Chabot Alexandre FRA 14.48- 25.00-   Top
6 Millet Sylvain FRA 12.31- 23.76- Top  
7 Puigblanque R. Julián ESP 10.81 22.87- Top  
8 Ovtchinnikov Evgueni RUS 10.81 20.64   Top
9 Auclair François FRA   19.56+ 19.54  
9 Lachat Cédric SUI   19.56+   Top
9 Pouvreau Gérome FRA   19.56+   Top
12 Crespi Flavio ITA   19.56- Top  
12 Zardini Luca ITA   19.56-   Top
14 Petit François FRA   19.38-   Top
15 Rakhmetov Salavat RUS   17.94+ 19.54+  
16 Son Sang-Won KOR   16.53 Top  
17 Lella Donato ITA   15.88+   Top

Tomás Mrazek competing in Lecco 2003 (ph Planetmountain.com)





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