• The prestigious 22nd National Sport Climbing Championship 2016 is being held in Bengaluru between 17th to 20th December.
  • Sport climbing comprises three events: lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.
  • The lead and speed events will be held at the outdoor climbing station at Kanteerava Stadium (19th & 20thDec), while the bouldering event concluded today at the Equilibrium indoor climbing station in Indiranagar (18th Dec).
  • Nation’s top 160 climbers are participating across multiple age categories and 3 different sport climbing disciplines, in both men and women.
  • The competition is jointly being organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and the General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), Bengaluru.
  • The event sponsors are Petzl, Stepin Adventure, Neo Bags and Merquri Medica. National broadcaster Doordarshan is on board to telecast the entire event.

Bengaluru, 18th December 2016: The 22nd National Sport Climbing Championship is underway in the city. The competition is jointly being organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and the General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), Bengaluru.

Bouldering event concludes
South Zone teams swept the sub-junior girls and women sections, while East Zone were winners in the sub-junior and junior boys events. Junior girls section was won by West Zone while the men’s section saw North Zone triumph. The event was held at the Equilibrium Climbing Station in Indiranagar.

Sandeep M of North Zone attempts to top

Final Rankings:

Sl. BIB Name Zone Rank Remark
1 020 SRIYA MISRA South 1
3 006 PURVI South 3
Sl. BIB Name Zone Rank Remark
1 118 TALIM ANSARI East 1
2 114 AMAN VERMA East 2
Sl. BIB Name Zone Rank Remark
1 030 SHREYA NANKAR West 1
2 084 SHIVANI CHARAK North 2
3 061 SULINA NINGOMBAM North East 3
Sl. BIB Name Zone Rank Remark
1 111 SURAJ SINGH East E
3 091 GOVIND North  N
Sl. BIB Name Zone Rank Remark
1 015 PRATEEKSHA South 1
2 009 CHEA South 2
3 003 NEHA South 3
Sl. BIB Name Zone Rank Remark
1 105 ADARSH SINGH North 1
2 089 SANDEEP MAITY North 2
3 055 AJIJ SHAIKH West 3

Akash Gaikwad of West Zone during the bouldering qualification rounds in the Men

Qualification Rounds
Qualifications for the Men, Women and Sub-Junior Boys category in the bouldering event began with impressive climbs from Sandeep M, Adarsh Singh (both sharing the first rank) and Lokesh Rajan (third rank with Ajij Shaikh and Muneer V). The North Zone, in particular, showcased considerable skill and strength in the Men’s category.

Rishikesh N of North East zone in action

During these qualifications (known as ‘rotational’ qualifications because they are held in a circuitous fashion), three different routes were set up for each of the respective categories, each of which required from the participants an amalgamation of technique and strength. Somnath Shinde, a seasoned climber from the Services Zone, was the only Men’s participant to make a successful attempt to the ‘bonus’ hold, however, his numerous failed attempts on other routes lowered his chances of qualifying as attempts play a deciding role during these crucial climbs.

The Women’s (16 yrs and above) finalists breezed through the first and second routes that saw technique supersede strength but, it was the third route that stumped all the participants. Nehaa Prakash, qualifier, described the necessity of a technique known as “mantling,” (move in which one would use voluminous holds as a push pad for the palm) for the crux of the third route. Calculating the ranks on the cumulative basis of number of attempts, number of attempts to bonus and attempts to top, Prateeksha Arun, Siddhi M and Nehaa Prakash secured first rank followed by Chea M, Debala Devi and Sneha Deogharakar.

Nehaa Prakash of South Zone women during the bouldering qualifications

Sneha D of West Zone crushing a 6b boulder route during qualifications

Junior Girls (13-16 yrs) also climbed the Women’s routes, with additional holds being added to the third route, with remarkable ease. The West and North Zones have dominated this category with their relentless enthusiasm and participation seen through Shreya Nankar, Shivpreet and Shivani Charak’s attempts on all three routes (known as ‘problems’), securing first, second and third rank respectively.

The Junior Boys showed their fierce capabilities as they attempted the altered Men’s routes with more resilience and gusto.

The North East Zone bolstered its position in the competition with adroit climbs by Maibam Chingkheinganba. The perplexing third route was ‘flashed’ (completion of a new route in the first attempt) by Maibam and Suraj. Moreover, this category saw numerous new faces and a showcase of their phenomenal talent.

About the 22nd National Sport Climbing Championships 2016

The competition is jointly being organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and the General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), Bengaluru. The event sponsors are Petzl, Stepin Adventure, Neo Bags and Merquri Medica. National broadcaster Doordarshan is on board to telecast the entire event.

This prestigious event is returning to Bengaluru after a gap of three years. The 19th edition in 2013 had also been held at Kanteerava complex. Prior to 2013, it had also been hosted by the city in 2003.
Participating Zones

The nation’s top 160 climbers are participating, up from the 130 climbers in the previous edition.
There are six competing zones, the North Zone, West Zone, South Zone, East Zone, North East Zone, and the Services Zone. Each zone has selected their top three athletes for each category: bouldering, lead climbing, and speed climbing, who will compete for the national title.

The participants are also divided into three categories (for Male and Female): Senior (Men and Women, 17 years and above), Junior Girls and Boys (14 to 16 years), and Sub-Junior Girls and Boys (10 to 13 years).
Competition structure

There are three sport climbing events: lead, bouldering, and speed climbing.

Lead climbing involves a long route set on a vertical wall, wherein the athlete has one attempt to ascend as high as possible, attaching the rope to the safety equipment whilst climbing. He or she is judged by how far and height gained during the climb in the given time limit (usually 6 minutes).

Bouldering consists of multiple short, technical climbs without the use of ropes or harnesses. Competitors were all given 4 boulder problems (or routes), with 4 minutes to attempt each. The ranking is decided by the total number of routes topped, attempts on each problem, and “bonus holds” tapped by each participant.

Speed climbing is done with a pre-attached top-rope, where speed of ascent is the ultimate goal. The athletes are ranked according to who tops the route with the fastest time.

There is also a system of ‘isolation’ before every event, wherein the participating athletes are kept in an ‘isolation room’ so that they do not see the route being set before the event starts.

This is the 22nd edition of the annual competition which first began in 1994. It is now the largest climbing competition in the country wherein the best climbers compete for a position in the Indian National Climbing Team.

The previous, 21st edition, was held at the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi between 27-30th November 2015. 130 climbers participated across 15 different categories/age groups and both genders. Among the top four finishers across the 6 participating zones, South Zone (18) led the way followed by North (9), West (7), North-East (3), Services (3) and East (2).

Climbers to watch out for
Watch out for Ajij Shaikh, from the west zone, who is a five time national lead champ and current defending champion. Last year, Chea Amelia Marak from the south zone held the women’s bouldering as well as speed titles Nehaa Prakash the women’s lead title, and was the runner up for women’s bouldering, as well as speed. Theja Saram and Bharath Pereira hold the junior girls’ and boys’ lead titles respectively in bouldering during Netra Bhat and Bharath Pereira won gold. Among the Sub junior category Arjun M from Chitradurga and Jayathi Gadamshetty won gold. Praveen C.M bagged silver at bouldering in the men category. There will be a big void in the absence of 15 time National champion Praveen C.M this year.

The winners in each category will receive trophies, cash prizes as well a chance to represent the Indian National Climbing team that are considered for international qualifications.

Tournament website: http://www.imfsouthzone.com/thenationals

About General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (‘GETHNAA’)

Formed by the Government of Karnataka in 1989, GETHNAA is an organization that aims to popularize outdoor adventure sports in Karnataka, and provides their services at various centers across the state. It is chaired by the Minister for Youth Empowerment and Sports.

The Academy has a large range of activities in aero, aqua and terrestrial sports, with experienced trainers in each. The sports include parasailing, paragliding, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, rafting, rock climbing, trekking, mountaineering, and mountain biking.

More information at www.gethnaa.com

About Indian Mountaineering Foundation (‘IMF’)

The IMF is a national body that governs adventure sports in India, established in 1957. It organizes, supports, and provides a base for mountaineering, skiing, rock climbing and trekking both at competition levels, as well as expeditions. It is also involved in organizing international conferences, training programs, and various environmental protection projects in the Himalayas. It is currently being presided by Col. H S Chauhan.

The IMF works closely with the Ministries of Sports, Home, Defense, Tourism and Environment of the Government of India. It provides accreditation and permits to all foreign climbers seeking an expedition in the Himalayas.

More information at www.indianmountaineeringfoundation.com

Smera Jayadeva
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