Sunderland, UIAA

Review: Conclusion of UIAA Ice Climbing Continental Tour

Wearside provided the setting for the final act of the UIAA Ice Climbing Continental Tour. Following six events in as many countries and on two continents, the overall victors have been confirmed.

Over 80 athletes contested the event in Sunderland, the first time that the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour has visited England. The event was organised by the British Mountaineering Council and the Scottish Dry-Tooling Club.

The Continental season may be over. However, the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour has one epic act to come. From 16-18 February, Edmonton, Canada will host the biennial UIAA Ice Climbing World Championships and the final World Cup of the season. A full preview press release will be published on Tuesday 13 February.

The event in Sunderland heralded two new seasonal gold medallists. Olga Kosek whose last gold medal came in Slovakia in 2021 won the women’s event to take second place in the overall rankings. It has been an impressive season for the Polish athlete who has two second places at Continental level and in a demonstration of her versatility, a World Cup bronze medal speed. The men’s title went to a dark horse. A sixth place finish in Utrecht in December was Slovenian athlete Gregor Segel’s best result to date. The 25-year old went into the final in Sunderland as the outsider having finished eighth in qualifying. However, as the only athlete to top the route he would claim an impressive gold medal.

Lorena Beck, Liechtenstein, took the women’s silver and Japan’s Haruko Takeuchi the bronze. For Beck it was a ninth medal of the season between World Cup, Continental and youth events. Takeuchi claimed her second Continental Open medal following a silver in Utrecht. Rich reward having also registered three fourth places.

The final women’s ranking reads:
Marianne van der Steen, NED, 392 points
Olga Kosek, POL, 354
Aneta Louzecka, CZE, 329

The men’s Continental Tour leaders surprisingly all failed to make the final in Sunderland. Spain’s Javier Cano Blazquez and Jorge Veiga Rodriguez as well as Switzerland’s Jonathan Brown could not replicate their recent form into the competition. Romania’s David Bouffard took silver, a second medal of the season, a title he shared with Patrick Inderbitzin of Switzerland.

It meant the leading positions went unchanged with Blazquez eventually taking the title.

The final men’s ranking reads:
Javier Cano Blazquez, ESP, 313 points
Will Morris, GBR, 277
Jonathan Brown, SUI, 269

A replay of the livestream from Sunderland can be found here:

Results from Sunderland can be found here.

Photo credits: Luke Briggs



Top Stories