• Sport climbing is new Olympic sport (2020 Tokyo Olympics) and comprises three events: lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.
  • The lead and speed events were held at the outdoor climbing station in the Kanteerava Sports Complex (19th & 20thDec), while the bouldering event was held at the Equilibrium indoor climbing station in Indiranagar (18th Dec).
  • Among the 5 participating zones, South zone topped the medals tally yet again, followed by North and West zones.
  • The nation’s top 160 climbers participated across multiple age categories, in both men and women.
  • The championship was jointly organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and the General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), Bengaluru.
  • The event sponsors were Petzl, Stepin Adventure, Neo Bags and Merquri Medica. National broadcaster Doordarshan was on board to telecast the entire event.

Bengaluru, 20th December 2016: The 22nd National Sport Climbing Championship concluded a short while ago at the Kanteerava stadium complex in the city.

Closing Ceremony & Prize Distribution
The winners in each category received trophies and cash prizes. As many as 54 individual medals were distributed across the three sport climbing disciplines (bouldering, lead and speed climbing), across three age groups (sub-junior, junior and senior), in both men and women sections.

Among the 5 participating zones, South zone (19 medals) topped the medals tally yet again, followed by North (14), West (9), East (5), North East (5) and Services (2). This marks the 16th consecutive year that the zonal rolling trophy has been won by South zone.

South Zone had the distinction of being declared the best zone for the 16th straight year

Shreya Nankar (West zone) and Bharath Pereira (South zone) were recognized as the ‘Best Athletes’ of the Championship and received cash prizes of INR 25000/-.

Overall Best Athletes Bharath Pereira (South Zone) and Shreya Nankar (West Zone)

Shri K Govindaraj (President, Karnataka Olympic Association & Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister) was the chief guest of the occasion. Other important dignitaries included Shri Anupam Agrawal (IPS) [and also Director, Youth Empowerment & Sports, Director General, General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA) & Patron, Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF)- South Zone Committee], Col Ajit Dutt, Chairman of IMF’s National Sport Climbing Committee, as well as Chairmen of the various IMF zonal committees.

Consolidated Results
Sub junior is 10-13 years, Junior is 13-16 years and Senior category is above 16 years.

Speed Climbing (20th Dec in Kanteerava complex): Sub junior girls: 1) Jayati Gadamsetty, 2) Purvi (Both South), 3) Vaidehi Nargunde (West); Sub junior boys: 1) Arundeep Charak (North), 2) Talim Ansari (East), 3) Hengouhao (North Eest); Junior girls: 1) Shivpreet Pannu, 2) Shivani Charak (Both North), 3) Netra Char Bhat (South); Junior boys: 1) Bharath Pereira (South), 2) Aman Dogra, 3) Mrityunjay Sharma (Both North); Women: 1) Debala Devi, 2) Smrithi Singh, 3) Sonali Pereira (Both South Zone); Men: 1) Pavana, 2) Pema Bhutia (Both Services), 3) Irfan (West Zone).

Lead (or ‘difficulty’) climbing (held on 19th Dec in Kanteerava Complex): Sub junior girls: 1) Purvi, 2) Jayati Gadamsetty, 3) Lakshmi Mathangi (all South Zone); Sub junior boys: 1) Karan Singh, 2) Arundeep Charak (both North Zone), Rutoo Pendse (West Zone); Junior girls: 1) Shreya Nankar (West), 2) Shivani Charak, 3) Shivpreet Pannu (Both North); Junior boys: 1) Bharath Pereira (South), 2) Suraj Singh (East), 3) Hritik Marne (West); Women: 1) Prateeksha, 2) Neha, 3) Chea (All South); Men: 1) Ajij Shaikh, 2) Irfan Shaikh (Both West), 3) Kangujam Surjit (North East).

Bouldering (held on 18th December at Equilibrium climbing station, Indiranagar): Sub junior girls: 1) Sriya Misra, 2) Jayati Gadamsetty, 3) Purvi (all South Zone); Sub junior boys: 1) Talim Ansari, 2) Aman Verma (both East Zone), Arundeep Charak (North Zone); Junior girls: 1) Shreya Nankar (West), 2) Shivani Charak (North), 3) Sulina Ningombam (North-East); Junior boys: 1) Suraj Singh (East), 2) Maibam Chingkheinganba (North East), 3) Govind (North); Women: 1) Neha, 2) Chea, 3) Prateeksha (All South); Men: 1) Adarsh Singh, 2) Sandeep Maity (North), 3) Ajij Shaikh (West).

Speed Event held on Final Day
As the 22nd National Sport Climbing Competition drew to a close, the speed category proved to be well worth the wait. Participants were allowed a trial run owing to the lack of speed wall infrastructure in their respective zones. Enticing qualifications began with the Men’s and Women’s category followed by the Juniors, on the temporary speed wall set at half the international standard height. Knock-out rounds are designed in such a way that the first climber (lowest timing) goes against the last climber (highest timing) thereby being left with only 4 final climbers who compete for the top three positions.

The Services Zone did remarkably well in this category with Pavana BC and Pema Bhutia winning first and second place respectively. Adarsh Singh (North Zone) was unfortunately disqualified owing to two false starts (taking off before the judge has said “go”). Third place was then inevitably awarded to Irfan Shaikh of West Zone. Seasoned climber Senjam Debaladevi won her first medal in the championship adding to her career medals tally of over 20 national medals. South Zone climber Smriti Singh earned the second position followed by Sonali Pereira also from the same zone.

Sub Junior Boys and Girls showcased incredible grit and determination as they climbed on the speed route specially set using purely classical holds (i.e non-speed holds). Jayati Gadamsetty and Purvi Rajpurohit, both belonging to the South Zone, secured the first and second place respectively. Vaidehi Nargunde from the West Zone came third.  Arundeep Charak (North Zone), Talim Ansari (East Zone) and Hengouhao (North East Zone) won amongst the 15 Sub Junior Boys participants.

There was a close fight between the finalists in the Junior Boys category, Bharath Pereira of South Zone came out victorious with a timing of 5.7s. He was followed closely behind by North Zone participants Aman Dogra and Mrityunjay Sharma. Junior Girls Shivpreet Pannu and Shivani Charak made the North Zone proud by winning the first and second place respectively. Netra C Bhat from Bengaluru persevered till the end taking home her second medal of the championship, a bronze.

About the 22nd National Sport Climbing Championships 2016
The competition was organized by the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and the General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), Bengaluru. The event sponsors were Petzl, Stepin Adventure, Neo Bags and Merquri Medica. National broadcaster Doordarshan came on board to telecast the entire event.

This prestigious event returned 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 participated, 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).

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

About Sport Climbing: General History, Basic Rules & Terminology

Brief History
Rock climbing originated as a form of training for when mountaineers needed to cross large rock surfaces while summiting alpine mountains, dating back to around 1911 in Europe. It soon developed into a fully fledged sport in itself, with athletes specializing in rock climbing, and then branching out into further categories of climbing such as bouldering, speed, and lead. French climbers developed a system of bolting routes so that safety equipment could be attached and climbers could then focus on technique and climb harder routes with lower risk. This also gave rise to shorter, harder routes which tested their strength and abilities, which developed into the sport of bouldering. Thus the birth of sport climbing on artificially recreated walls that could be modified to increase difficulty and technicality, which was popularized mostly in North American states and France between the 1930s and 1950s, and then spread to several other countries across the world. Sport climbing differs from rock climbing in the sense that to emphasizes strength, endurance, and gymnastic ability, as opposed to the adventure, risk, and self-sufficiency that traditional rock climbing is known for.

Sport climbing in India kicked off in the 1980s, when foreign climbers visited and gave Indian mountaineers the opportunity to climb overseas and brought climbing specific equipment with them. The sport soon took off and training walls were built and more athletes pursued the sport in India. We now have a large community of talented climbers who often represent the country at international competitions. Asian competitions were held at Uttara Kashi in 2004 and Imphal in 2011. This year the IFSC Sport Climbing World Cup was held in Mumbai. The inclusion of sport climbing into 2020 Tokyo Olympics has elevated the sport to a whole to new level.

Basic rules

  • Climbers must obey the isolation system, and will receive a red card if they step out of it and observe the route before instructed.
  • They will be provided with Observation Time before the event, during which they can see the competition route and plan their ascent.
  • Climbers cannot use any of the holds or wall space outside what has been assigned for that particular event or route. They will be disqualified if they do.
  • During bouldering and lead, one climber climbs the route at a time. For speed, two climbers compete simultaneously and qualifications are done on time trial basis.
  • During lead, the rope must be passed through all clips that are passed. A red card may ensue if a clip has been skipped. Number of clips depend on the length of the route, angle of the wall, and difficulty.
  • There are usually two rounds: the qualifying round, and the final round. Finalists are selected on timing or point’s basis.

Send / Ascend – Climb and reach the top of a route

Belayer – Person who manages the rope of the climber and ensures safety

Crux – Toughest portion of that particular route or climb

Bonus hold – In bouldering, a hold above the crux of the problem and before the top hold that gives theclimber extra points even if he or she does not manage to get to the top hold

Top hold – Last hold of the route which, if tapped (in the case of speed climbing) and held for 3 seconds (bouldering and lead) counts as a finished ascent

Carabiners / Clips – Metal rings with spring-loaded gates, used as connectors. Usually oval or roughly D shaped. They are attached at different intervals during a lead climb. The rope attached to the climber has to be passed through these clips as he climbs past them

Isolation zone – An enclosed area where climbers have to remain before their event, which prevents them from seeing the route beforehand

Holds – Plastic structures of different sizes and shapes attached on the wall to hold or place feet. Holds are arranged to form a route.

Volume – A large, hollow bolted-on bouldering hold.

Smera Jayadeva
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