Rock Junior 2012: Great young climbing at Arco

11 years of Rock Junior. For 11 years these young climbers have managed to surprise us, every year that little bit more. Thanks to their love for this sport.  Their ability to climb continuously.

Fotostrecke: Rock Junior 2012: Great young climbing at Arco

For the fun and seriousness with which they put themselves to the test. What is certain is that these climbers have all the vitality, enthusiasm and desire to have fun of children  aged 7 – 13. And once again these youngsters put on a massive display here at the Arco Climbing Stadium, on the same Rock Master walls which have hosted the great champions of this sport and which were the scene of last year's great World Championship Arco.

What became immediately obvious was the incredible ability level. This goes to show that the Rock Junior project, which focuses on the young generation of climbers to promote climbing and pave the way for the future, is a winner. The only one which can perhaps ensure that the culture of this beautiful sport can evolve towards even bigger goals. And so during this first day of the Under 14 Cup 220 youngsters from 17 different countries grappled away in the Speed, Bouldering and top rope Lead disciplines. And right from the outset the young girls and boys in their respective 4 categories proved spectacular.

Beginning with the Bouldering, where category A (born 1999 – 2000) was dominated by  Giorgia Tesio – who sent all 6 problems in 16 attempts –  and Filip Schenk, another 6 tops in a mere 7 attempts. It's worth noting that the problems set by Leonardo Di Marino and Donato Lella – unsurprisingly the route setters of the last 10 Rock Master – were graded 7a. And that the boys and girls competed on the same problems, and that the girls were by no means disadvantaged. Category B (2001 – 2001) was dominated by Mirko Caballero from America (6 tops in 10 attempts) and Laura Rogora from Rome. While the youngest climbers, those in Category C (2003 -2004 – 2005)

The fastest climbers after two Speed rounds were the Italians Giacomo Ingrami (in 6,33 seconds) and Giulia Fossali (8,05) competing in Category A, while Category B was won by Laura Rogora (7,96) and Mirko Caballero (7,24) who therefore doubled their takings after the Bouldering event and are now well-placed for overall victory. The Category C sprint was won by Ai Mori from Japan (13,37and Leonardo Fossali from Italy (12,28).

On sunday the Under 14 Cup continues with the second stage of the Lead, rope climbing up the highest wall in the Climbing Stadium. Only then will we know who will have won this 11th edition, since the final ranking is based on the results of all three disciplines. On sunday though is also the day for the Kid's Rock and Family Rock, two events which are unique to Rock Junior.

And so, apart from the young Under 14 athletes, Arco will be filled to the bring with youngster (5 -13) who want to experiment with this climbing game by playing in the Kid's Rock. As tradition has it the grand final is reserved for the Family Rock, the emblematic vertical relay race for children and their parents. On Sunday will witness a pacific invasion of  500 young climbers and this is perfectly in line with the spirit of Rock Junior: a great climbing festival which looks to the future of this beautiful sport.

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