The Speed climbing continued today at IFSC Youth World Championships Innsbruck and Russian athletes excelled, bringing Russia's medal count to 13, the most so far.
Youth A provided the audience with the first action on Sunday, as nearly 200 climbers attacked the distinctive red route in the hopes of a podium. YiLing Song of China set the lowest time of the day for the female athletes (8.63), earning her a spot in the final run. Aleksandra Kalucka of Poland answered with her own personal best time of the day (8.67) to win Gold after a slip from Song midway up the route. Russian Polina Aksenova completed the podium when her compatriot Elena Remizova false started.
111 competitors started in the men’s final. All three medallists set times under seven seconds, with JinXin Li of China besting American Noah Bratschi in the small final. In the last match, Russian teammates Georgiy Morozov and Sergey Rukin swept up the wall, and Rukin’s smooth run of 6.53 seconds was enough to win the gold medal over Morozov.
The following day, Milosz Bujak of Poland was among the fastest in Youth B finals but slipped low down the route in the semi-final against Russian Anton Kulba. Italian Jacopo Stefani and Kulba both stumbled in the big final, and Stefani recovered faster to claim the gold medal. Evgeny Kuzin of Russia finished two hundredths of a second quicker than Bujak in a tight small final to round out the podium.
Russia dominated the female final, with only Russian athletes advancing to the semi-final. Polina Kulagina advanced over Valeriia Slobodchikova with a clean run, and Daria Potapova bested Kamilla Kushaeva in the rerun following a tie between the teammates. Kushaeva rebounded in the small final for Bronze, and Kulagina set the first time under nine seconds (8.84) to win gold over Potapova in the big final.
Elizaveta Ivanova of Russia was quick all day in Juniors, registering the best time in qualifications (8.57) and more times below nine seconds in finals. She committed a costly false start in the final race against her teammate Daria Kan, who claimed the gold medal and scored the lowest time for female athletes in Innsbruck (8.34). Ekaterina Barashchuk made it an all-Russian podium after a slip from Claire Buhrfeind of the United States, who followed up her first place in Bouldering with fourth place in Speed.
The male final saw many upsets, with IFSC World Cup competitors Kostiantyn Pavlenko of Ukraine – who posted the best time in Innsbruck (6.37) - and Gian Luca Zodda of Italy missing out on the semi-final, as well as the quick Iranian athlete Ehsan Asrar. Carlos Granja of Ecuador and Korean Seungbeom Lee had no times above seven seconds, and Granja bested Lee in a very close big final for gold. American Michael Finn-Henry was also flawless in the small final, claiming the Bronze medal over Lev Rudatskiy of Russia.
12 days of nonstop sport climbing at the IFSC Youth World Championships continue with Lead climbing on Tuesday. We will be LIVE for semi-finals and finals on Thursday and Friday on the IFSC homepage. The schedule, results, replays, photos and more can be found on the dedicated Innsbruck event page.