Vinokur 6th in World Cup

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Vadim Vinokur must like Asian food. For the second year in a row, the American climber has made the finals in a World Cup in the Far East, finishing sixth in Shenzen, China, on November 22. Last August, Vinokur finished sixth in a World Cup in Singapore. His previous best result this year was 15th place. In a topsy-turvy event, Frenchman François Auclair, ranked third in the overall standings, came out on top in China. Czech climber Tomás Mrázek was second, and Japanese Keita Mogaki, whose previous best finish in a World Cup was 27th, finished third. Meanwhile, overall World Cup points leader Alex Chabot of France tied for 11th place, and his rival, Ramón Julián of Spain, managed only 9th, blowing his last chance to seize the World Cup title. Because each competitor’s worst finishes are thrown out in the final point tally, Chabot cannot lose the World Cup trophy at the final stop of the tour next weekend in Scotland. Among the women, Muriel Sarkany of Belgium won her fifth World Cup of the year and will easily take the overall title. The battle for second place now looks like it will come down to the wire, as Austrian Angela Eiter beat her rival Sandrine Levet of France for the third comp in a row, picking up nine points in the overall standings. Eiter now trails Levet by just 19 points. However, the young Austrian must finish several places ahead of Levet in Scotland to take the second-place trophy for the year.