Rock Master 2012: Schubert and Fakhritdinova win the Duel

When the Duel Lead is on the agenda, you can rest assured that it's going to be spectacular. And this certainly proved to be the case in the 2012 edition. The formula has been tried-and-tested: get the best Rock Master eight to compete head-to-head on two identical, parallel routes.

Rock Master 2012: Schubert and Fakhritdinova win the Duel On a route which is graded 7b/7cish. And to avoid being eliminated, they'd have to climb as quickly as possible. In other words, it's a massive sprint to the top, and the elimination works just like in tennis tournament.

The women kicked off the 1/4 finals with Angela Eiter (winner of last night's Rock Master Lead 2012) beating Ecuador's Caroline Rosero. Barbara Bacher's rhythm (AUT) forced Jenny Lavarda into making a mistake and she fell, while in the next duel Austria's Christine Schranz fell, too, just as Russia's Dinara Fakhritdinova breezed easily upwards. The last out, Evgenia Malamid from Russia sprinted fast to beat Valery Kremer from Israel. Well, right from the outset it had become clear that the Russians know a thing or two about climbing fast…

Adam Ondra knows how to sprint, too, and in the men's 1/4 finals he beat Russia's Mikhail Cherniko in an impressive 1'24″. The Czech climber raced unbelievably quickly, so quickly infact that many thought this might be today's speed record. A few minutes earlier Ramon Julian Puigblanque, who certainly can't cite speed as one of his strongpoints, made a footless comeback through the roof to overtake Slovenia's Urban Primozic.

Jacob Schubert beat Silvio Reffo from Italy, while Austria's Mario Lechner got the better of Jorg Verhoeven from Holland. Of one thing everybody could be certain: after winning the Rock Master Lead, Puigblanque also wanted to return home with the Ennio Lattisi Trophy, alias the Duel. Neither Ondra nor Schubert though were going to let him do it, and one of the Semi-final's was going to be stellar Ondra vs. Puigblanque.

But the time had come for the women. The first semi-final involved Eiter and Bacher and they climbed identically to half-height, just as if they were twins. Then Bacher started to surge ahead and reached the top while Angela was still under the roof. Eiter continued to climb, slowly but surely, and did well to do so because this allowed her to qualify since Bacher's top wasn't accepted by the judges. And so Eiter found herself in the Final, together with Fakhritdinova who, in the other Semifinal, had beated her teammate Malamid.

This wasn't to be Bacher's day since she then even missed out on bronze in the small final, meaning that third placewent to excellent Malamid who, after last night's 3rd Rock Master place, doubled her takings. All that remained was the Duel final between Eiter and Fakhritdinova but for the Austrian there was going to be a no go; the 19-year-old Russian proved a touch faster and won the Ennio Lattisi Trophy, while Eiter returned home with an impressive „booty“ of 2nd place today plus last night's Rock Master victory.

The men's semi-final kicked off with a bang. Puigblanque and Ondra sped up like rockets with the Spaniard not even a centimetre behind his adversary, but below the roof Ondra changed gear, hit the accelerator and sped to the top which launched him into the final. In the other semi-final Jacob Schubert showed his cards and, fast as light, beat teammate Mario Lechner in an incredible 1'15″. A staggering nine seconds faster than Ondra… The final was going to be a good one! In the battle for 3rd and 4th place Mario Lechner, unperturbed, left Puigblanque in his wake and won by a large margin.

Now it was time for the last showdown, Ondra vs Schubert. Well, how climbers can race up a 7c like this is something really quite beyond comprehension, quite simply out of this world. The two seemed to break the speed of sound, with Ondra falling behind just below the roof. He seemed done for, fought like a lion. In the heat of the battle Schubert cut loose and breached the roof footless, while Ondra pulled out all the stops to make a comeback but he'd left it too late, Schubert got there first and dynoed for the buzzer. This (absolutely incredible) Duel was his, just like the Ennio Lattisi Trophy of Rock Master 2012.

Results Duel Men
1 Jakob Schubert 1990 AUT
2 Adam Ondra 1993 CZE
3 Mario Lechner 1991 AUT
4 Ramón Julian Puigblanque 1981 ESP
5 Jorg Verhoeven 1985 NED
6 Silvio Reffo 1990 ITA
7 Mikhail Chernikov 1985 RUS
8 Urban Primozic 1992 SLO

Results Duel Women
1 Dinara Fakhritdinova 1992 RUS
2 Angela Eiter 1986 AUT
3 Evgenia Malamid 1987 RUS
4 Barbara Bacher 1982 AUT
5 Valery Kremer 1991 ISR
6 Christine Schranz 1988 AUT
7 Jenny Lavarda 1984 ITA
8 Carolina Rosero 1993 ECU