The third stage of the Lead World Cup 2013 took place in Belgium’s Puurs last weekend and after a hard-fought qualifiers – in which 5 male athletes all topped out in the Semifinal – the moment of truth arrived on Saturday evening with the intense final. Canada’s Sean McColl was the first to really leave a mark by cruising through the first filter and continuing to the 39th hold to take provisional lead, but a superlative Schubert wasn’t to be intimidated and he immediately climbed another 5 holds higher. The Austrian’s impressive performance couldn’t be outdone by anyone else, including the winners of the first two stages at Briançon and Imst, Japan’s Sachi Amma and Spain’s Ramon Julien Puigblanque. With this victory Schubert now moves into third place in the provisional World Cup ranking with 188 points, behind Puigblanque (208 points) and Amma who leads comfortably thanks to his 260 points.
On Saturday night at Stuttgart, Germany, Jernej Kruder from Slovenia and Juliane Wurm from Germany win the 2013 adidas Rockstars, beating Russia’s Rustam Gelmanov and Britain’s Shauna Coxsey. The adidas Rockstar format is a mix between a Masters and a World Cup competition, in which 70 invited athletes competed on a series of boulder problems in three steps: Qualification, Semifinal and Finale. In the last stage the best six athletes battled it out for the so-called Superfinal where the best two “challenged” each other on two parrallel and identical problems, just like in the famous Duel invented years ago at the Arco Rock Master, but obviously without a rope. The Superfinal is played out in just a few seconds, there’s no time to check out the boulder and what really counts at this stage is intuition, getting it right first time round.
Saturday 7 September 2013. In a stadium filled to the rim Ramón Julian Puigblanque climbed extraordinarily to win his 7th Rock Master. Mina Markovic celebrated her La Sportiva Competition Award in the best way possible by winning the climbing champion’s Master.
21:00. It’s time for the Lead final. And the view onto the Climbing Stadium shows that it’s packed to the rim. One might say this is Rock Master, pure beauty. Or, perhaps even, this is the pure beauty of Rock Master. Which might come down to the same thing. But there’s no time to think about this as things immediately begin to get exciting. On the maxi-screen there’s the video dedicated to Tito Traversa. And just like at Rock Junior a week ago, the entire stadium falls silent, as if suspended in mid-air. Before breaking out into a massive applause to bid farewell to the little champion who is no longer with us. One never gets used to emotions like these… what remains is the memory, for a short moment everything seems to stand perfectly still. And then Rock Master begins, the competition Tito had dreamt of, like everyone else. At this point no one knows it, and we don’t want to give the game away, but this evening Rock Master holds something truly special in store.
Grand Rustam Gelmanov wins the Mens Rock Master Boulder 2013, ahead of Dmitri Sharafutdinov and Christopher Webb-Parsons. America’s Alex Puccio wins the Rock Master Sint Roc Boulder Contest for the second year running. Aya Onoe places second after having fought all the way from the Open, while Russia’s Yulia Abramchuk finishes third.
On Sunday night at Eindhoven the Austrians Anna Stöhr and Kilian Fischhuber won the European Bouldering Championship 2013. Silver was won by Russia’s Dmitrii Sharafutdinov and Slovenia’s Mina Markovic, bronze by the Austrian Jakob Schubert and France’s Mélanie Sandoz. Michael Piccolruaz, the best Italian, finished a surprising 5th.
“The spell is finally broken. I’ve been working towards this moment for over 10 years… A dream has come true! ” These were the words of Kilian Fischhuber, one of the most successful athletes of all times and five-times winner of the Bouldering World Cup who in Eindhoven on Sunday evening won his first single competition, namely the European Bouldering Championship. An important title that had eluded him, one that was missing from his long list of victories that had all bar the European and World Champion title.