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Stefano Ghisolfi wins the Lead World Cup 2014 at Wujiang in China. Ramón Julien Puigblanque places second, Romain Desgranges third.
Photo by archivio IFSC
Women's podium at Wujiang in Cina: Anak Verhoeven, Mina Markovic and Hélène Janicot
Photo by archivio IFSC
Stefano Ghisolfi at Haiyang, China
Photo by Heiko Wilhelm / IFSC

Stefano Ghisolfi wins China stage of Lead World Cup with Mina Markovic


On 19 October 2014 the sixth stage of the Lead World Cup 2014 was won at Wujiang in China by Italy's Stefano Ghisolfi and Slovenia's Mina Markovic. The Speed World Cup was won by Qixin Zhong and Mariia Krasavina.

It's a historic moment for Italian sports climbing: on Sunday evening at Wujiang Stefano Ghisolfi won the Chinese stage of the Lead World Cup 2014, giving Italy that victory it's dreamed of for 7 years, ever since Flavio Crespi – in 2005 the only Italian to win the overall World Cup – won a World Cup stage in Chamonix in 2007.

Victory in Wujiang is an important step in the competition career of the 21-year-old climber from Turin who only once before had won a podium position, a superb third place in China last year. That Ghisolfi had taken things a stage further this season was clear to all, at the latest on Sunday morning when he qualified for his fourth final this season. Beating, as it happens, climbers who have won far more, such as the two Lead World Champions Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert who failed to make it further than the Semifinal and finished 19th and 17th.. Ghisolfi qualified 6th for the final and, setting off second, he managed to give what he himself defines as “the maxiumum” to reach hold 36+. His was an impressive climb, a true masterpiece of dogged determination and technique, followed by a war of nerves as he watched his fellow competitors climb after him and fall... lower down! Ghisolfi's heart skipped a beat when Ramon Julian Puigblanque reached the same hold as he did, but the Spaniard failed to move on to the next one as the Italian had. This wasn't a great omen seeing that the best three were still in isolation: Slovenia's Domen Skofic, France's Desgranges and above all Canada's Sean McColl, the only athlete to top out in the Semis. But for them, Sunday at Wujiang, there was nothing doing, the stars had finally aligned for Ghisolfi and all three fell lower than him, meaning that the Italian won his first ever World Cup stage! A victory that has a far greater meaning, one that is difficult to put into words, that rewards years of training and sacrifice and an athlete who believed in his abilities 100%, so much that he risked everything and travelled to China as the only representative of the Italian squad...

In the women's event Slovenia's Mina Markovic, after having won a week ago at Mokpo, took the top podium position once again, beating Belgium's Anak Verhoeven and France's Hélène Janicot. This "photocopy" result of South Korea continued with 4th and 5th place going to the Austrians Magdalena Röck and Katharina Posch. Japan's Yuka Kobayashi and Aya Onoe finished 6th and 7th respectively, while Slovenia's Maja Vidmar finishe 8th. Reigning Lead World Champion Jain Kim had a tough time in China, too, and in failing to qualify for the final lost precious points in the race for the overall world Cup: her lead has been whittled down to a meere 11 points, 461 compared to the 450 points of Röck and the 414 points belonging to Markovic.

The Speed World Cup took place in China, too, and was won by home athlete Qixin Zhong and Russia's Mariia Krasavina, ahead of Libor Hroza from the Czech Republic and France's Anouck Jaubert. Third place went to her teammate Bassa Mawem and Russian's Iuliia Kaplina.

IFSC Climbing Worldcup Lead - Wujiang (CHINA) 2014

1 Stefano Ghisolfi ITA 36+
2 Ramón Julian Puigblanque ESP 36
3 Romain Desgranges FRA 34+
4 Domen Skofic SLO 34+
5 Sean Mccoll CAN 33+
6 Akito Matsushima JPN 22+
7 Mario Lechner AUT 20
8 Gautier Supper FRA 13
9 Zida Ma CHN
10 Elan Jonasmcrae CAN
11 Changfeng Qu CHN
12 Magnus Midtboe NOR
13 Javier Cano Blazquez ESP
14 Qinghua Wang CHN
15 Shinichiro Nomura JPN
16 Or Wechsler ISR
17 Jakob Schubert AUT
18 Loïc Timmermans BEL
19 Adam Ondra CZE
20 Martin Jech CZE
21 Shane Messer USA

1 Mina Markovic SLO 31+
2 Anak Verhoeven BEL 24+
3 Hélène Janicot FRA 20+
4 Magdalena Röck AUT 17+
5 Katharina Posch AUT 17+
6 Yuka Kobayashi JPN 17+
7 Aya Onoe JPN 15+
8 Maja Vidmar SLO 13
9 Christine Schranz AUT
10 Jain Kim KOR
11 Nikki Van Bergen NED
12 Barbara Bacher AUT
13 Dinara Fakhritdinova RUS
14 Charlotte Durif FRA
15 Netta Fredman ISR
16 Di Niu CHN





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