With just 5 days left before the 2018 Asian Games kickstarts in Jakarta Palembang in Indonesia, the Indian contingent preparation is going in full swing before they challenge for medals in the upcoming games. The games will also witness debut of sports climbing event.
The sport which is slowly gaining popularity in several countries has also found a place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. India too will be making their debut in the sport with Shreya Nankar, Chingkheinganba Maibam and Bharath Pereira ready to challenge the Asian counterparts.
Six gold medals are up for grabs in the sports which includes speed climbing, speed relay and combined climbing in both men’s and women’s categories.
This discipline is one form of indoor rock climbing where athletes compete for the fastest time to the top of the climbing wall. In this sport, speed plays a very important role. The competition sees two climbers race against each other to reach the top of a 15-meter high wall.
Top 16 climbers with the best timing in the competition will advance into the knock out rounds and in the end, three climbers with best times will be awarded medals.
Essential things the climbers need for the sport
During the event, climbers will be provided with harness and climbing ropes. The other important aspect will be specialized shoes which allow the climber to get a better grip on the footholds on the wall. Apart from these two things they also use chalk powder on their hands to get a better grip on the holds.
Each relay team is represented by three climbers and two relay teams are pitted against one another. The first climber starts the ascent and once he reaches the summit and touches the finish button, the second climber who is ready at the bottom of the wall starts his climb. After the second climber reaches the finish point, the third and the last member of the team will start the climb. The finish time of the third participant of each team is the final reading of the team.
Combined climbing is a combination of three climbing events — lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.
This is considered as one of the most challenging events. Athletes are given the time of six minutes to climb a wall which is around 15 meters in height. The athletes who reach the highest point within this allotted time is declared the winner. The climbers use ropes and attach it to quickdraws placed along the route. The winner is determined when the climber falls down from a certain height, which is taken as his final reading. The other aspect of this sport is If two athletes reach the same height, the climber to have reached the point in a faster time is considered a winner.
In this event, the competitors are not allowed to use the rope and are made to climb a pre-determined route called a ‘problem’ in a specified time. The hold for the climbers on the route will be decided by the route setter or a person who designs the route of the contest.
There is no limit for the climbers to make an attempt in this event as they can take multiple attempts to complete the route in the allotted time. Points are given on the basis of number of times a participant has reached the top in the allotted time and the number of attempts he or she has made to reach the top. Points are also logged for reaching different holds placed at different heights and also for attempts to reach these holds.