Saturday 7 September 2013. Yesterday the legendary Climbing Stadium wall hosted the International Paraclimbing Cup, the competition for the disabled that here in Arco, in 2011, held the first ever Paraclimbing World Championship. This commitment to the Paraclimbing movement was solidified that same year when Baone became the world’s first crag designed specifically for the disabled, while in 2012 Arco hosted a stage of the Paraclimbing Cup. And yesterday, once again, the best Paraclimbers in the world returned to Arco to put themselves to the test. Their first round started at 10:00 and this was followed at 14:00 by a second round, by no means. Two beautiful moments, touching, packed with excitement and also intense climbing.
Thirty athletes split into their respective categories fought their way up the routes and once again their determination, skill and technique impress everyone. Once again the Paraclimbers proved spectacular as they battled like true athletes against: the force of gravity.
In the Men visual impairment B1, the one in which total silence falls while the climbers are guided by their coaches, Italy’s Matteo Stefani climbed superbly to beat, only just, reigning European and World champion Nicolas Moineau. Stefani celebrated a great comeback after having become the first ever World Champion right here in Arco in 2011. The Women visual impairment B2 was won by young Giulia Poggioli from Bologna who, having climbed a hold higher than everyone else on route 1, was the only one to top out on route 2. No surprises in the Men amputee leg PD category: strongman Urko Carmona Barandiaran dominated the competition with an impressive climb, above all on route 1… the ease and naturalness with which the Spaniard climbs is impressive and his joy is, as always, contagious.
The category Women Neurological Physical Disability A was won by Frances Brown from England and Oriane Moreno from France: both athletes did the impossible and topped out on both routes to place joint first! In the men’s equivalent Mathieu Besnard from France showed all his class to top out on both routes. Noteworthy was second placed Manikandan Kumar; the 27-year-old reigning World Champion had travelled all the way from India for this competition. The competition was rounded off with Men Neurological Physical Disability B, won by Hungaria’s András Szijarto, while Lorenzo Major took gold in the Men seating category, ahead of his teammate Luca Galimberti.