HanNaRai Song wins Women’s Lead title in spectacular style in Cheongsong, Korea on final day of competition
HanNaRai Song made the only top-out of the Lead final for both Men and Women with literally a second to spare,
With that gutsy move, Song, 22, (Korea) served notice in the Cheongsong phase of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup Tour presented by the North Face, which end on 11 January 2015 that she’s the one to watch for the rest of the tour.
Where others struggled, Song who is trained by Korean champion HeeYoung Park gracefully and easily powered her way up the Lead wall, never stopping, never resting, and never having to shake the pump out.
Like her mentor Park’s memorable performance from Saas Fee, Switzerland in 2013, Song made it look easy but this time she had the hometown crowd behind her and they went wild with enthusiasm and appreciation.
It wasn’t the same story for Park, who was second place coming in to the Men’s final but tragically dropped a tool at a crucial high point, causing him to let out a cry of anguish that will be remembered for years to come.
That left Maxim Tomilov the final climber of the climber, who with clinical precision went up the Lead wall, just as easily as Song, but fell just short of a top out.
Earlier in the day, the Speed finals took place under a warming sun which posed some problems for climbers but which still resulted in an astounding show of speed and display.
The biggest upset took place when Maria Krasavina lost to Nadezda Smirnova in the half-final, setting up a showdown between Smirnova and Ekaterina Feoktistova.
Feokistova’s win over Smirnova with a combined time of 21.8 seconds was sweet as she pursues her quest in 2015 to better her 2014 2nd place in the overall Speed competition.
In the Men’s half-final, Nikolai Kuzovlov unseated Egor Trapeznikov, last year’s overall Speed champion with a blistering 7.22 and 7.17 run.
Kuzovlov then provided further thrills in the final showdown with Maxim Vlasov – which he won – with a 6.5 second climb on his first attempt, the best time of the day. The Cheongsong victory which follows another victory in Speed in Bozeman last month puts Kuzovlov well on track as the leader and the climber to put in the race for overall World Cup champion for 2015.
1.HanNaRai Song (KOR)
2.Myoung Lee (KOR)
3.Nadezhda Gallyamova (RUS)
1.Maxim Tomilov (RUS)
2.Valentyn Sypavin (UKR)
3.HeeYoung Park (KOR)
1.Nikolai Kuzovlov (RUS)
2.Maxim Vlasov (RUS)
3.Egor Trapeznikov (RUS)
1.Ekaterina Feoktistova (RUS)
2.Nadezda Smirnova (RUS)
3.Maria Krasavina (RUS)