Two exciting weeks lie behind me. Two weeks in which I was able to experience tears of joy, sorrow, success and failure. I was at the University World Climbing Championships and the following week at the Climbing World Cup in Innsbruck.
That's how close emotions are in sports, between victory and defeat, when the elite of climbing meet. The Climbing Center Innsbruck was the best setting imaginable for this event. Framed by the mountains of the provincial capital, there can be no more beautiful setting for an event of this trend sport.
FISU University World Championship
From June 14 to 17, the FISU University World Championship took place. This competition is a world championship for students up to the age of 26. The athletes competed for medals in the three disciplines Speed, Lead and Bouldering.
Austria could be happy about two medals in the speed competition. Tobias Plangger won gold and Lukas Knapp could secure the bronze medal.
In the women's competition, the two Polish sisters Kalucka made it to the podium.
In the lead-off events, Japan dominated. They won five of the six medals. Only the American Melina Costanza was able to join the Japanese phalanx and took silver. In bouldering, the Japanese even won all six possible medals.
Those who thought that perhaps top performances like in the World Cup could not be expected at a university world championship were taught better. Many of the athletes were also seen at the World Cup the following week and they were able to deliver some top results there as well.
IFSC Climbing World Cup Innsbruck
From June 21 to 26, the Climbing World Cup took place. In addition to the same disciplines as the previous week at the FISU, the paraclimbers were also in action at this championship.
One of the highlights was certainly the trio from Styria: Angelino Zeller, Markus Pösendorfer and Daniel Kontsch. Exactly in this order they were found again at the medal ceremony. Angelino Zeller was once again not to be topped and three times precious metal for Austria. Jasmin Plank also won gold in her category for Austria. Edith Steinecker completed the medal rain for the local team with the bronze in her category.
For me it was the first experience to see paraclimbing and I have the highest respect for the performances. Of all the competitions in the World Cup, it was probably the one that excited me the most.
For the boulder finals of the women and men and for the lead final the hut aka the climbing center Innsbruck was full. At short notice, the area was adapted again, so that we could still offer some tickets at the box office.
The atmosphere at dusk was gigantic and equal to the performances of the athletes. Even thunder and lightning could not harm the fans as they stood in the pouring rain during the boulder finals.
In the women's bouldering competition, Natalia Grossman from the USA was once again the measure of all things and won her fifth World Cup competition in a row. With an incredible ease she had a smile ready for my camera even during the climbing. The strong competitor Hannah Meul (D) had to admit Natalia this time but only razor-thin beaten.
The men's competition was won by a debutant, 18-year-old Colin Duffy from the USA.
In the lead competition, two Austrians, Jessica Pilz and Jakob Schubert, reached the final of the best eight. Jakob Schubert finished in fifth place. Jessica Pilz unfortunately had to leave the wall after only eight holds and finished eighth in the final.
For the first time since 2004, a single athlete won both Boulder and Lead. The young Colin Duffy did not let himself be taken away from the victory after the bouldering and triumphed in both competitions. This makes him the star of the World Cup in Innsbruck.
Olympic champion Janja Garnbret won the women's event. She shared the podium with the second Chaehyun Seo from South Korea and the American Brooke Raboutou.
The speed competition, which was part of the European Continental Cup and not of the World Cup, was won by Italian Matteo Zurloni. Second and third were Erik Noya Cardona (ESP) and Danyil Boldyrev (UKR).
A total of 12,000 spectators came to the various competitions and, cheered on by presenter Florian Rudig and DJ Tobias Rudig, created a goosebump atmosphere. Even the thunderstorm with heavy rain during the women's bouldering final could not dampen the mood. Under umbrellas, the athletes continued to be loudly cheered on.
Two absolutely great weeks, which I personally was very enthusiastic about, came to an end.
See you next year, Innsbruck!
Rate this article
Show me the location on the map
Professional photographer from Innsbruck, nature enthusiast and animal lover.