Bolzano/Corvara, 27 January 2018 – On Saturday evening HanNaRai Song won Lead category in the Ice Climbing World Cup in Corvara in Val Passiria for the third consecutive time. In the men’s competition there was a maiden victory when Mohammadreza Safdarian Korouyeh became the first Iranian ever to clinch a stage victory.
This year’s World Cup finals in ice climbing in Corvara took place by floodlight. Men and women finalists competed alternatively in the Lead category on the demanding structure. Among the men, Iranian Mohammadreza Safdarian Korouyeh achieved his first victory. After a third place in the start of the World Cup in Saas Fee in Switzerland last weekend, the Iranian athlete clinched victory in Corvara and is now the in first place in the World Cup rankings in the Lead category. Safdarians strongest competitor was Russian Alexey Tomilov, who finished the competition on the demanding structure in Corvara in second place, South Korean YoungHye Kwon was the third man on the podium. Safdarian Korouyeh was the only participant who succeeded in completing the difficult route to the end, but then slipped on the top.
There were no surprises in the women’s finals, where serial victory Han Na Rai Song again proved her superior form. Song won the World Cup in Val Passiria for the third time after her successes in 2016 and 2017. Like last week at the start of the World Cup in Saas Fee, Song’s compatriot WoonSeon Shin (2nd place) and Russian Maria Tolokonina (3rd place) again made it to the podium. There were no South Tyrolean ice climbers at the start.
Shortly before the awards ceremony there was a show event where climbers attempted to conquer the 25m tall ice tower as fast as possible. The challenge was to beat last year’s best time of 16.16 seconds. Although the record was not broken, Russian Maxim Vlasov won the show event with a time of 22.20 seconds.
Completely Russian podium in the Speed climbing
For the first time the Speed event took the form of a knockout, whereby the best overall time was determined over two rounds. Among the men and the women, the Russian teams dominated. Four Russian athletes made up the final four women, among the men, one Iranian athlete fought for victory against the Russian climbers.
The nail-biting women’s final was won by Nadezda Gallyamova with a total time of 28.94 seconds, followed by Ekaterina Feoktistova (29.30). The men’s final saw an exciting battle between Anton Nemov and Ivan Spitsyn, which Nemov won with a total time of 19.53 seconds.
Mohsen Beheshti Rad from Iran achieved the best time of the day in the final for third place. He conquered the 15 vertical meters in an astonishing time of 8.35 seconds, but got stuck in the second round and had to concede the place on the podium to his competitor Vladimir Kartashev.
The Chair of the Organising Committee had to final say
“I would like to thank all our volunteers without whom this event would not have been possible: Volunteers, Clubs, and of course the Guardia di Finanza Merano, who have all supported us over the two days of the competition. Special thanks go to the municipality of Moso in Val Passiria, who has been supporting us every year”, said Reinhard Graf, the Chair of the Organising Committee. He was also very satisfied with the results: “It became clear early on that Korean Song would win again. I am particularly delighted with the historic result in the men’s competition. For the first time an Iranian won the ice climbing competition, and I am so very pleased that this happened here in Corvara.”
Officials praised the venue in Corvara. Nils Glatthard, Director of the Mountaineering and Climbing Federation UIAA said: “Corvara may be the smallest place organising this World Cup, but it is also the most beautiful. We are already looking forward to next year’s competition in Corvara.”