Corvara, 2 February 2019 – On Saturday evening the first winners were determined at the Ice Climbing World Cup in Corvara. In the Speed category Russians Anton Nemov and Ekaterina Feoktistova celebrated the stage victory. Thus the Russians continued to dominate in this discipline at the foot of the snow-covered Passo Rombo. The most challenging artificial ice climbing facility in the world also hosted the qualification in the Lead category. The finals will take place on Sunday.
When the World Cup ice climbing challenge is about climbing the 15.50 meter high vertical ice wall as fast as possible, it is clear that the Russian national anthem can be prepared for the subsequent award ceremony.For years, athletes from the geographically largest country in the world have been comprehensively dominating this discipline. This was no different on Saturday in Corvara. Four Russian athletes each qualified for the semi-finals in both the men’s and women’s race.
The big favourite among the men was Anton Nemov, who is ahead in the speed ranking. He fulfilled his promise. At first, Nemov beat Vladimir Kartashev in the semi-finals. In the final he lost 0.07 seconds against his compatriot Anton Sukharev in the first run, but made a come-back in the re-run and eventually won the stage victory. Third place went to Nikolai Kuzovlev, the reigning World Champion in the Combination and leader in the Lead World Cup.
Second victory for Feoktistova in Corvara
The women’s competition was won by Ekaterina Feoktistova. She won the duel against Combination World Champion Maria Tolokonina in the semi-finals and the final run against Valeriia Bogdan. The ice tower in Corvara suits Feoktistova from Russia, who in 2017 already won the South Tyrolean World Cup stage in Speed climbing and who finished second in 2015 and 2018. The final place on the podium in this year’s Speed competition went to Ekaterina Koshcheeva, who is first in the discipline ranking and who will continue to wear the yellow jersey.
Strong performances in the Lead qualification
Although there had been plenty of fresh snow on Friday night in Corvara – an in the whole of South Tyrol – the competitions in the ice climbing Mecca in Val Passiria started on time. Before the Speed competition, the qualification in the Lead category, the supreme discipline, took place early in the morning. Among the men only last year’s winner Mohammadreza Safdarian Korouyeh (Iran) and Aleksei Marshalov from Russia reached the top in both runs. Among the women, a total of eight athletes achieved this feat: Koreans Woonseon Shin and Han Na Rai Song, Russians Maryam Filippova and Maria Tolokonina, Sina Götz and Vivien Labarile from Switzerland, Eimir McSwiggan from Ireland, and Enni Bertling from Finland.
A total of 18 ice climbers qualified for the semi-finals, which will take place on Sunday morning from 8:15 am. The final starts at 1:00 pm.
Live stream for ice climbing enthusiasts at home
Those who cannot make it to Corvara can experience the ice climbing World Cup live. The international association UIAA and the organisers offer a high-quality live stream on the official UIAA YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/uiaabern) and on the Eisturm Rabenstein website (www.eisklettern.it).
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Photo: Patrick Schwienbacher