SAAS FEE PREPARES FOR ICE CLIMBING FESTIVAL
Saas Fee, Switzerland hosts the fourth World Cup event of the UIAA Ice Climbing season from 20-21 January.
Korean athletes HeeYong Park and Han Na Rai Song seek to defend their World Cup advantage in the lead discipline.
Russians Vladimir Kartashev and Maria Tolokonina enjoy slender leads in speed.
Livestreaming will be available from the competition’s semi-finals and finals. Tune into the UIAA YouTube, Facebook or Twitter feeds. The 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing season is partnered by The North Face Korea.
Saas Fee, one of the most distinctive venues on the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour, plays host to the penultimate weekend of action in the 2017 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup season from tomorrow Friday, 20 January. A season record number of athletes are set to compete.
Large crowds are expected to gather in Saas Fee’s Ice Dome for the evening finals of both competitions. They will cheer fervently for two local athletes. Yannick Glatthard, 19, is enjoying an amazing season and currently sits in third place (182 pts) behind leader HeeYong Park (227 pts) and Nikolai Kuzovlev (211 points) in men’s lead. Another Swiss athlete, Petra Klingler will make her first appearance of the season in the women’s lead discipline. Here two Korean athletes – Han Na Rai Song (212 pts) and Shin Woonseon (200 pts) – lead the way ahead of Ireland’s Eimir McSwiggan (192 pts).
While there have been three World Cup rounds in the lead competition, only two have been held in speed. No one athlete is currently dominating. Vladimir Kartashev (160 pts) heads the men’s classification after two silver medal performances. Pavel Batushev (151 pts) and Radomir Proshchenko (137 pts) lie in close pursuit.
In the women’s classification, Russian Maria Tolokonina’s lead (145 pts) over compatriots Ekaterina Koschcheeva (140 pts) and Ekaterina Feoktistova (135 pts) leaves no margin for error.
The speed competition concludes on Friday, the lead on Saturday night.
Whatever happens in Saas Fee, the World Cup season will be decided next week in Rabenstein, Italy. Athletes will then have one week to prepare for the major event in the UIAA ice climbing calendar, the World Championships held in Champagny-en-Vanoise, 4-5 February.
Friday 20 January
19:30 – 20:15 Speed: Finals, women
From 20:30 Speed: Finals, men
Saturday 21 January
08:45 – 11:45 Lead: Semi-finals, women
13:00 – 16:00 Lead: Semi-finals, men
From 19:00 Lead: Finals, men & women
*All times are CET
The full programme is available here.
Commentary comes from Liam Lonsdale.
Live results, and current standings, can be found on a dedicated page on the UIAA website.
Images from the weekend will be posted to the UIAA Flickr account.
The official hashtag is: #uiaaiceclimbing