08/09/2013 – A great Duel took place at the Climbing Stadium: Dinara Fakhritdinova and Sean McColl won, beating Katharina Posch and an extraordinary Stefano Ghisolfi who climbed superbly to only just miss out on victory.
The Lead Duel has transformed into one of the most spectacular events. A classic “made in Rock Master” would be an appropriate description. And it comes as no surprise that for this mad race against time and gravity the Climbing Stadium fills to the brim once again. The formula is simple: athletes compete one against the other (hence the name) on two identical, parallel routes and the 8 finalists are the best 8 from Rock Master Lead. The duels follow the same system used in tennis: Rock Master winne vs 8th placed, 2nd vs 7th etc. and the fastest to reach the top qualifies for the next round. It’s an elementary game… and absolutely addictive. Also because the “piste” they sprint up is extremely difficult and the athletes need to pull out all the stops to fly to the top to beat not only time but, above all, their opponents.
Things get exciting as Ramón Julian Puigblanque, the great winner of Rock Master Lead 2013, enters the Stadium to challenge Magnus Midtboe. This time though the rope champion is beaten and bids farewell. Sean McColl on the other hand wins his duel against Dmitry Fakiryanov. While Sachi Amma beats Domen Skofic. But it’s Stefano Ghisolfi who brings the house down by beating – to the wire (a mere 12 hundredths of a second) – strong Jakob Schubert. Needless to say the crowd goes wild.
In the women’s duel Mina Markovic, still glowing from her first Rock Master victory, eliminates Jenny Lavarda. Dinara Fakhritdinova wins her duel against Evgenia Malamid. Akyo Noguchi beats Katharina Posch. While Jain Kim qualifies because Mathilde Becerra, who had been in the lead by a fraction of a second, fails to stop the clock on her final leap.
In the Semifinals it’s Dinara Fakhritdinova who beats Mina Markovic, while Katharina Posch gets the better of Jain Kim. But it’s the Men’s Semis that gets the crowd to their feet. After Sean McColl beats Magnus Midtboe to qualify for the final, everyone waits for local Stefano Ghisolfi to race against Sachi Amma. And the young climber Turin doesn’t wait to be asked twice; he sprints upwards and qualifies for the final. An outstanding achievement in its own right.
The last round starts with the “small final”. In a sort of play-off between yesterday’s first and second, Jain Kim from Korea gets her small revenge by beating Slovenia’s Mina Markovic to place 3rd. While in the men’s heat Norway’s Magnus Midtboe beats Japan’s Sachi Amma to secure bronze. The time has now come for the long-awaited final. And Russia’s Dinara Fakhritdinova, absolutely unperturbed, takes gold be easily beating Austria’s Katharina Posch.
The final Men’s duel proves a real battle. Sean McColl sets off like a rocket, with Stefano Ghisolfi close behind. They speed upwards, fast as lightening. Ghisolfi tries not to be outdistanced and even manages a comeback. But then, just when he seems poised to overtake the Canadian he fumbles the clip and wastes precious seconds… He fights beautifully through the roof and overlapping wave, but in vain, the McColl wins. What a beautiful finish! And the spectators thank with an applause worthy of all great shows.
by Vinicio Stefanello / Planetmountain.com