New UIAA ice climbing world speed champions crowned

NEWS FLASH: Under the relentless snow of Champagny-en-Vanoise, France, Maria TOLOKONINA (RUS) and Pavel BATUSHEV (RUS) were crowned speed champions at the 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships, partnered by The North Face Korea, on Sunday 5 February.

Maria Tolokonina, 29, with climbs of 8.76 and 11.77 defeated compatriot Ekaterina Feoktistova by a combined 1.24 second margin in the final two duels. Victory marks the crowning achievement for Tolokonina after a tremendous past two seasons. She finished the 2016 UIAA Ice Climbing season as the female world number 1 in lead and speed, and closed the most recent season as joint world number 1 in speed.

Men’s Speed Final Duel: Batushev v Kartashev

Women’s Speed Final Duel: Tolokonina v Feoktistova

The men’s final was always going to be close. Kartashev and Batushev, 29, were the top ranked athletes going into the competition. Batushev with times of 6.68 – the second fastest of the weekend – and 7.21 took gold by 1.20.

Tolokonina (main image) and Batushev succeed Alexey Vagin and Ekaterina Koshcheeva as UIAA Ice Climbing World Champions – a title they will hold for the next two years. 45-year old Vagin returned to competition in Champagny after a brief hiatus and lost out to Batushev in the last eight of the men’s speed duel. Koshcheeva’s title defence ended in the semi-finals of the final round against Feoktistova. In the 3rd v 4th place climb she lost out to Nadezhda Gallyamova who took bronze. The men’s bronze medal was won by Leonid Malykh over Radomir Proshchenko.

To replay this morning’s live streaming please visit the UIAA YouTube channel.

For all results click here.

Live coverage continues this afternoon from 15:15 CET with the men and women’s lead semi-finals and finals. Action will be available on the UIAA Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels as well as on the Olympic Channel. Commentary comes from Liam Lonsdale.

Pictures will be available shortly on the UIAA Flickr channel.