More than 200 young boys and girls competed in the first day of Rock Junior Under 14 Cup.
A perfect starting day to the Under 14 Cup. The sun shone at Arco, in what seemed to be the Mediterranean, colouring the Climbing Stadium lawn an emerald green. And they were there, the protagonists of this Rock Junior 2013. Plenty of them: an infinite number of red dots – the same color as this year’s official t-shirt – in constant motion. They come from 22 different countries. Share the same love for rock climbing and are all young, extremely young. The youngest, those in category C, are 7 years old. The oldest “compete” in category A and are 13. In between there are those belonging to category B, aged 10 and 11.
One might think that they are “merely” young climbers. But seeing them perform here today you cannot cease to be amazed. Not only because they are all, also technically speaking, extremely good. But above all because they seem tireless, they simply never stop playing the climbing game. Theirs is a love for climbing to the nth degree, spontaneous and without limits. After 11 years of Rock Junior we thought we’d seen it all, but once again today we felt as if we might learn something from the love that these youngsters devote to climbing and sports in general. It was that little something that we noted in their joyful smiles. And this is exactly why Rock Junior was created: a “non-competition” where, despite there being a final ranking, what wins hands down is the joy of climbing and the “fun and games”.
The very same fun and games that began today with a menu – the same for both boys and girls – based on (extremely difficult) Bouldering and Speed. Just to reiterate: the Under 14 Cup is about climbing in all its forms and began today therefore with the Boulder and Speed comps, and will continue tomorrow with the Lead event (ie the classic difficulty up the highest wall in the Climbing Stadium). Obviously the climber with the highest score of all three disciplines combined will win.
Apart from the aforementioned determination which at times we’d love to see emulated by climbing’s biggest, what surprised us was the ability demonstrated today, truly exceptional. The problems they climbed would have worried more than a few expert boulderers, but apparently not the Italian Under-14 champion Giorgia Tesio who, with a great 6 tops of 6 problems, won the classic category A, followed closely by teammate Laura Rogora (5 tops) and, in 3rd place, Nea Herforth Baehr from Denmark. In category B it was Slovakia’s Vanda Michalkova who stood out with her 5 tops, while in category C Deya Vladimorova from Hungary sent 3 problems in 3 attempts to beat (by a hair’s breadth – read a further 3 attempts) Lara Kmoch from Croatia.
Italy scored a great hattrick in the Male Boulder category A with Filip Schenk thanks to his 5 tops, followed by Matteo Manzoni and Pietro Biagini, both with 4 tops. In category B Calin Enache from Romania topped 6 problems in 8 attempts, beating Hector Bazan Martin by a hair’s breadth as the Spaniard needed 5 attempts more for the same 6 tops. While in category C it was Lluc Macià Llobet from Spain who sent all problems to win his category.
In the Speed heat, the fastest in category A were Laura Ragora from Italy and Petar Ivanov from Bulgaria. Category B was won by Tamy Moriz from Austria and Alessandro Eitel Pucci Manildo from Italy, while in category C the fastest were Slav Kirov from Bulgaria and Deya Vladimora once again, the only to win both the boulder and speed disciplines.
In the end, the provisional ranking is headed by the Italians Laura Rogora and Filip Schenk in category A, Calin Enache from Romania and Tamy Moriz from Austria in category B and Deya Vladimora from Bulgaria and the Lluc Macia Llobet from Spain in category C.
Tomorrow, Sunday, begins with the most classic competition: Lead, the last decisive moment in the Under 14 Cup that promises to be a great one. As unmissable as the legendary Kid’s Rock, the real game of climbing interpreted thanks to the boundless imagination of the 5 and 6 year olds. As tradition has it this will be concluded by Family Rock, the challenge for children and their parents. This, in short, is the true hallmark of Rock Junior and this climbing festival.
The appointment with Rock Junior is for tomorrow at 8:00am, once again at the Arco Climbing Stadium. Don’t miss it!
by Vinicio Stefanello / Planetmountain.com