World Champions Crowned

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World bouldering champion Dmitry Sharafutdinov from Russia.

The weeklong world championship of climbing in Aviles, Spain, has concluded, crowning new champions in lead climbing, bouldering, and speed. Russian climbers led the medal count at the biannual event, with seven podium finishes (more than twice as many as any other country), including three gold medals. Further reflecting the growing internationalization of competition climbing, the long-dominant French team did not win a single medal. Nor, for that matter, did the few Americans competing in Spain.

Among the highlights of the championship was a superfinal battle between 21-year-old Angela Eiter (AUT), the dominant competition sport climber of recent years, and 33-year-old Muriel Sarkany (BEL), the leading lady of the late 1990s who has returned to form this year. Competing on the men’s final route, with only two holds added to compensate for height, Eiter climbed higher than several male finalists to win the championship.

Russian Dmitry Sharafutdinov was the upstart winner in men’s bouldering. The 21-year-old from Ekaterinburg was ranked 23rd in the World Cup last year but has come on strong in 2007, despite, as he told 8a.nu, having only climbed 7C+ (V10) outdoors. Sharafutdinov’s other results (47th in lead climbing and 10th in speed) were good enough to make him the combined world champion for 2007. Italian Jenny Lavarda was the combined winner (lead, bouldering, and speed) for the women.

American Emily Harrington finished a respectable but disappointing 14th in lead climbing in Aviles. At the last world championship, in 2005, Harrington won a silver medal. American Paige Claasen made the semifinals in bouldering, also finishing 14th—a very strong result in the 17-year-old’s first year of adult international competition. Daniel Woods, one of the world’s most accomplished outdoor boulderers, but relatively inexperienced in worldwide competition, fell short in Aviles, finishing 43rd.

Highlights from the weeklong world championship of climbing September 17-23, 2007, in Aviles, Spain.All photos courtesy of www.ifsc-climbing.org.

World Champions Crowned

Full results and more photos are available at www.ifsc-climbing.org; click on “Media Village” to see photos.

World Championship — Aviles, Spain

Men’s Lead 1. Ramón Julian Puigblanque (SPA) 2. Patxi Usobiaga (SPA) 3. Tomás Mrázek (CZE) 41. Sean McColl (CAN)

Women’s Lead 1. Angela Eiter (AUT) 2. Muriel Sarkany (BEL) 3. Maja Vidmar (SLO) 14. Emily Harrington (USA) 32. Marah Bragdon (USA) 34. Paige Claasen (USA) 62. Amanda Sutton (USA)

Men’s Bouldering 1. Dmitry Sharafutdinov (RUS) 2. Martin Stranik (CZE) 3. Cédric Lachat (SWI) 25. Sean McColl (CAN) 43. Daniel Woods (USA) 69. John Bowles (CAN) 79. Jon Cardwell (USA) 82. Dustin Curtis (CAN)

Women’s Bouldering 1. Anna Stöhr (AUT) 2. Akiyo Noguchi (JAP) 3. Olga Bibik (RUS) 14. Paige Claasen (USA) 61. Amanda Woods (USA) 63. Clarrie Lam (CAN) 65. Marah Bragdon (USA)

Men’s Speed 1. Qixin Zhong (CHI) 2. Manuel Escobar (VEN) 3. Sergey Sinitsyn (RUS) 53. Brian Furciniti

Women’s Speed 1. Tatiana Ruyga (RUS) 2. Edyta Ropek (POL) 3. Valentina Yurina (RUS) 35. Amanda Sutton (USA)

Dates of Event: September 17-23, 2007

Sources:www.ifsc-climbing.org, www.8a.nu

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