Elite Sport Climbing athletes from all over the world tested their strength, speed and stamina at the 3rd CISM World Winter Games.
The Winter Military World Games is a multi-sports event organised for military athletes once every four years (one year prior to holding the Winter Olympic Games). This time, the event was held in Sochi, Russia, from February 22nd to February 28th, providing an early look into the form of Bouldering, Lead and Speed athletes before the IFSC Climbing World Cup season.
Austrians Jessica Pilz and Jakob Schubert were the first Sport Climbing athletes to win Gold, and they topped a strong field to do so. Their teammate Magdalena Röck fell early in Semi-Finals, Slovenian legends Mina Markovic and Maja Vidmar both appeared in Finals, and Speed youth world champion Daria Kan also excelled in front of her home crowd. For the men, Schubert completed every route, and he was quicker to the Top in the last duel with 2016 season Lead champion Domen Skofic. Russian Dmitrii Fakiryanov, the 2016 university world champion in Lead, just missed a medal.
Pilz maintained her momentum the following day, besting many of the same athletes on the mats. Katharina Posch of Austria and Marcello Bombardi of Italy, who donned medals in Lead, came up just short of the hardware in Bouldering. Manuel Cornu, third at IFSC Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championships Paris, placed second at Sochi, and outsider Vadim Timonov took home Gold for Russia after climbing to more bonus holds in Finals.
Speed climbing was the last event on the Sports Schedule, and IFSC athletes once again impressed. Speed world champion Anna Tsyganova of Russia pleased the fans inside the Bolshoi Ice Dome by posting the best times in all rounds of the world record event. For the men, Guillaume Moro of France edged Italian Leonardo Gontero by one hundredth of a second in the final round for Gold. Sergei Luzhetskii and Tsyganova won the classic event, and Bombardi, Artyom and Nikita Devyaterikov and Evgeniya Lapshina competed in all three disciplines.