During the next two days the golden Alto Garda arena will transform into a vertical paradise for the strongest athletes in the world, and also for the eight climbers who qualified for a place in the final during today's International Boulder Open.
Fotostrecke: Rock Master 2012 International Boulder Open
Four male and four female athletes passed with flying colours and on Sunday they will join the eight Rock Master boulder leaders, as well as yesterday's ten Lead qualifiers.
The first out of the starting blocks were the men, from Argentina, Austria, Ecuador, Greece, Italy, Russia, Slovenia and Venezuela, ready to tackle the eight boulder "problems". In a repeat of yesterday's Open Lead results, the Slovenians put on an impressive display of talent, above all Jure Becan who sent five problems first go.
Hopes were high for young Stefan Scarperi from Italy but his second place exceeded all expectations. Maurizio Huerta from Mexico qualified, too, along with the other Slovenian Jernej Kruder who proved extremely fast at sending the problems, apart from his slight hiccup on problem seven which he finally sent on his ninth attempt.
Sunday's Rock Master boulder might turn out to be somewhat of a family challenge as Jure is joined by his elder brother Klemen who, thanks to his World Cup results, has earned the right to be an invited Rock Master athlete.
Apart from the abovementioned poker of athletes who qualified for the final, only two other climbers succeeded in sending all eight tops, namely Urban Primozic from Slovenia who also happened to qualify for yesterday's Lead, and Italy's Francesco Vettorata.
The women's event proved highly selective and no athlete managed to send all problems, with Olga Iakovleva from Russia coming closest thanks to her seven out of eight tops. As was to be expected, Valery Kremer from Israel qualified (four tops) and she is joined by Annalisa De Marco from Italy and Alizée Dufraisse from France, fresh from yesterday's Rock Master Lead qualification. Today's surprise Open elimination was Yulia Abramchuk from Russia.
<br />The Rock Master vertical climbing gala with the world's best continues at the Arco Climbing Stadium tomorrow morning, while at 21.00 this evening the time is ripe for the Arco Rock Legends, the sport climbing "Oscar night" with the La Sportiva Competition Award and Salewa Rock Award which go to the world's most influential rock and competition climber. Germany's Stefan Glowacz is a living legend in the climbing world and he will receive the Climbing Ambassador by Aquafil prize.
The entire competition will be broadcast live on Saturday and on Sunday on www.ifsc.tv
Rock Master boulder qualifying results
1. Jure Becan (SLO)
2. Stefan Scarperi (ITA)
3. Maurizio Huerta (MEX)
4. Jernej Kruder (SLO)
5. Urban Primozic (SLO)
6. Francesco Vettorata (ITA)
7. Jan Haiko (AUT)
8. Santiago De Alba Flores (MEX)
9. Damiano Capulli (ITA)
10. Reinaldo Camacho (VEN)
1. Olga Iakovleva (RUS)
2. Valery Kremer (ISR)
3. Annalisa De Marco (ITA)
4. Alizée Dufraisse (FRA)
5. Yulia Abramchuk (RUS)
6. Carolina Rosero (ECU)
7. Mateja Hohkraut (SLO)
8. Anna Borella (ITA)
9. Giulia Alton (ITA)
10. Crina Ochenatu (ROU)