SCHUBERT TAKES FINAL INDIVIDUAL CLIMBING HONOURS OF MUNICH 2022
As the rain began to fall on Munich’s Königsplatz, it did nothing to dampen the celebrations from Austria’s Jakob Schubert who claimed the final gold medal of the European Championships Sport Climbing competition.
Crowds and climbers alike have enjoyed a spectacular stadium bathed in sunshine all week, but as the final climbers took to the wall in the men’s Boulder & Lead final the rain began to fall on the vocal sell-out crowd. A few raindrops could do nothing to stop the crowds cheering on their heroes though in a final battle for medals which went down to the wire.
Earlier in the Championships Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic had secured himself a Lead gold and Boulder bronze, and finishing the Boulder section of the B&L final in the lead - topping three problems – things were looking good for a third medal.
Along with Mejdi Schalck of France, the top four had all topped three problems and were within 0.2 points of each other. Spain’s Olympic champion Alberto Ginés López was back in fifth topping two problems, 19 points behind leader Ondra.
As the B&L Lead section got into full swing, the French athletes failed to make an impact whereas Ginés Lópezshowed why he was Olympic champion. He got to hold 48 for a 90 score and moved into the medal positions.
It was down to Ondra and Schubert now. The Austrian fell just short as he reached for the top hold for a score of 95.1, 175.6 overall, and a gold medal position – for now. All he could do was watch on to see what rival Ondra could do.
“I wasn’t so nervous watching Adam [Ondra] as when I fell, I knew I had silver,” said Schubert. “I was like 99% sure I would have a silver and 100% sure Adam would get really close to me. It came as a bit of a surprise that he didn’t climb the top as well as me and fell before me. It doesn’t happen often.”
The Czech climber fell as he reached for what would be the gold medal hold scoring 90.1, 170.8 overall, and the silver medal. Schubert’s face lit up as he hugged his competitors – one of which was Ginés López who had slipped down to the bronze medal position.
“It definitely feels amazing,” said Schubert. “Not because it’s a medal, but because it’s a gold medal. This whole event has been amazing and so has the crowd. Every round has felt like a final. I was missing a medal though. I was a bit sad with my fourth place in Lead and now I’m happy to have this memory of a medal because it’s what this event deserves.”
On winning his third medal of the European Championships and completing the gold, silver and bronze set, Ondra said: “I enjoyed today because I knew that no matter what I did after the individual disciplines, no matter what I do in the B&L finals, it would be a successful competition.
“The boulder competition was really successful for me even though I felt like maybe I could do something different. It was pretty obvious that it would come down to the lead competition between Jakob [Schubert] and me, and it was Jakob who won today.”
Bringing the European Championships to a close was the presentation of the Winning Nation Plaque to the best performing nation at Munich 2022. The trophy went to Slovenia who took home five medals including three gold’s from the impressive Janja Garnbret.
BOULDER & LEAD (B&L)
The new format to be used at the Olympic Games Paris 2024 made its debut at Munich 2022.
Unlike the Combined format that featured at Sport Climbing’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 last summer, Paris 2024 will see medals awarded to Speed athletes separately, as well as to climbers in the new B&L discipline, the rules for which were officially published earlier this year in the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC)’s Rules 2022.
The men's B&L podium of the European Championships Munich 2022
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC