National Sport Climbing Championship concluded successfully
Uttarkashi/IBNS: Jharkhand, a constituent of eastern zonal chapter of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF), emerged as the power house of sport climbing in the country as 26th National Sport Climbing Championship was successfully concluded with plaudits to Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM) who organised the event on behalf of IMF North Zone Committee under the aegis of IMF recently.
The east zone team, mostly climbers nurtured by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) and representing Jharkhand, expectedly bagged the team championship again winning twelve out of total eighteen golds.
Earlier east zone won the team championship when the national was held in Bhubaneswar. The championship could not be held on the last two occasions because of the pandemic.
Beside the golds, Jharkhand also earned six silvers and four bronzes to tally 22 medals in total.
In the medal hunt, Jharkhand was followed by Maharashtra who won a total 15 medals including three golds, five silvers and seven bronzes. Former champions Karnataka settled for the third place with a couple of golds, three silvers and five bronzes while Services earned one gold and a bronze.
Manipur which produced good sport climbers earlier remained contended with two silvers . Among other states Jammu & Kashmir collected a silver and a bronze, Punjab got one silver while hosts Uttarakhand earned one bronze.
Sport climbers from different parts of the country took part in the competition which was held for six categories - men & women, junior boys & junior girls and sub-junior boys & sub- junior girls in three disciplines - lead , speed and bouldering.
The championship got off to a colourful start with Uttarakhand sports minister Smt Rekha Arya declaring the meet open in presence of IMF President Dr Harshvanti Bisht , Chairman of National Sport Climbing Committee (NSCC) Keerthi Pais , Principal of NIM Col Amit Bisht, other dignitaries and all participating climbers and officials.
Except in bouldering events, Jharkhand athletes dominated the show in lead and speed climbing, winning top positions in ten out of twelve categories in the last two events. In bouldering they had to remain satisfied with two golds which came through sub-junior boys and girls.
Spotlight, during the three-day event, was mostly on Kiron Singh Thakur and Kundan Singh, both from Jharkhand in sub- junior girls and boys category respectively for each winning three golds and emerging best in all the three disciplines.
Anisha Verma, also from Jharkhand , stole the limelight among women bagging two golds in lead and speed and a silver in bouldering. Anisha, who was selected to represent India at the Hangjhou Asian Games in China which has been deferred to next year because of a pandemic there, lived up to the expectation setting a new national mark of 10.071 seconds in the final of speed event.
Another National mark was also made in this championship which was achieved by Birajdar Dhiraj of Services in the quarter final of speed event for men. Birajdar ,
who clocked 6.388 seconds in the last eight stage ,could not rise to the occasion in the semi final and remained contended with the bronze.
Maharashtra, an upcoming force in Indian sport climbing scenario, won their golds through Hritik Sablaram Marne in men's lead, Anika Bhusan Musale in junior girls bouldering and Nimidh Somnath Dangekar in junior boys bouldering .
Veteran Bharat Periera and experienced Apeksha Arun displaying fine form emerged best in bouldering for men and women respectively to earn a gold each for Karnataka while Services got their lone gold through Sarvan Chauhan in speed event for men.
Joga Purty of Jharkhand also shone bright winning two golds in lead and speed for junior girls while her compatriots Ranit Bandera and Suraj Singh in junior boys group showed fine promise. While Ranit earned a gold in lead beside getting a silver each in speed and bouldering, Suraj Singh Thakur clinched the yellow metal in speed.
The two men climbers, noted for their prowess in sport climbing , veteran Maibam Chingkheinganba of Manipur and upcoming Aman Verma from Jharkhand , who was also selected to represent the country at Hangjhou Asiad, could not impress much. While Maibam got a silver each in bouldering and lead, Aman won a silver in speed and a bronze each in lead and Bouldering.
Sport climbing after its inclusion as a competitive sport in the Olympics and Asian Games is gaining popularity in the country. The way TSAF is nurturing and promoting sport climbing is exemplary which is well reflected in this nation. One hopes that more organisation's and sporting bodies follow them for the betterment of this sport in India.