Final male Juniors Lead
As night fell, at 17:40, the time came for the last act of the World Youth Championships in Arco. The last competition, the last world title still up for grabs. It was time for the Junior – Under 20 competition. It started to drizzle onto the Climbing Stadium and umbrellas were reopened. The route was a slightly modified version of that used in Youth A. The atmosphere was incredible, worthy of all big events! All were here to see who would solve the”biggest overhang” on the Rock Master wall, the one that winds its way u the huge, dizzying bow. And the start was quite simply superb. Thanks to America’s Jesse Grupper who, after breaching the first part of the bow with its small (and treacherous) roofs, reached the huge round volume. It was evidently a crux move but, without hesitating, he poised himself for the two-handed dyno onto another large volume that paved the way to the top. Grupper took his aim, crouched low and then flew high… Many a heart skipped a beat as he grabbed the holds, lost one of them for a second, held the wild swing and managed to get control again. And the up he climbed, ever upwards, all the way to the top. The crowd went wild! But Slovenia’s Anze Peharc was already in the arena and climbed well, stuck the dyno and then… got unravelled and fell. Belgium’s Simon Lorenzi climbed supremely, only to fall two holds from the top. Had Grupper’s ascent been a one in a lifetime? There was no time to stop and think since Austria’s Bernhard Röck was already half-way up the wall, shooting up like a rocket. Red volume, two-handed dyno, the successive crimps and then top, for him too! Which meant that thanks to countback, Röck now took provisional lead, pushing Grupper into second. Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki now took the stage: he climbed above the volume, but surprisingly failed on the dyno. Unlike Russia’s Sergei Bydtaev, who produced the magic only to fall a hold higher than Peharc, which meant that he was provisional third – like in the semis – with Röck in the lead ahead of Grupper. Two more athletes were still to come, if they wanted the podium, they’d have to top out. Or, at worst, get extremely close indeed. Japan’s Hada Yuki played his cards badly and drops from provisional second to penultimate, just behind Peharc. The rain now poured almost “torrential”, and the time had come for the last athlete of all. The third Japanese, Keiichiro Korenaga; he had won the Semis, he was the one who seemed in the best shape of all. And he was the only one who, at this tage, could steal the title off Röck and Grupper’s silver. Korenaga’s battle took place up high, he climbed past Lorenzi and then, just when it looked as if he’d top out and win the World Championship, he fell. The result: Austria’s Bernhard Röck won the Lead Juniors. America’s Jesse Grupper, 8th after the semis, won a noteworthy silver, while Japan’s Keiichiro Korenaga took bronze ahead of Simon Lorenzi (Bel), Sergei Bydtaev (Rus), Anze Peharc (Slo), Hada Yuki (Jpn) eand Tomoa Narasaki. This is how the ninth and final day of these intense – but extremely exciting – Youth World Championships came to an end here in Arco. One thing was certain: here we witnessed the champion climbers of the future.
by Vinicio Stefanello / Planetmountain.com