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Top rock climbers to compete in 2009 World climbing championship

2009-06-27 14:48 BJT

XINING, China, June 27 (Xinhua) -- A total of 319 athletes from 45 countries and regions have signed in for the 2009 World Climbing Championship three days before it kicks off in northwest China's Qinghai province on June 20th.

According to the event's organizing committee, the event is to be staged outside Europe for the first time and it will be the "highest" one as the host city Xining, provincial capital of Qinghai, has an altitude of 2,260 meters above sea level.

The 2009 world climbing championship comprises the categories of lead, boulder, speed and overall, both for men and women.

World top rock climbers will participate in this year's event, such as Evgeniy Vatsekhovskiy from Russia who tops the world men speed climbing rankings; and Johanna Ernst, the 17-year-old Austrian who ranked 1st in the world women lead climbing rankings, also the youngest champion in IFSC World Cup.

"This year's event cajoles world's best rock climbers who rank top 20 in the world rankings and those rank top 10 in Asia," said Feng Jianping, deputy managing director of the organizing committee.

The venue, which costs four million yuan (about 588,235 U.S. dollars) to built, has four tracks for lead climbing, four for speed climbing, six for bouldering and nine for warm-ups.

It is designed in accordance with the international competition rules in which the designers also used traditional elements, such as the roof and the Great Wall element in the border design of participants' resting zone, integrated in modern and yet distinctive Chinese architectural styles.

"It is one of the biggest and the most comprehensive venues for sports climbing in the world, and won positive responses from the International Federation of Sport Climbing, or IFSC,"said Feng.

The Qinghai world championship is set to date from June 30 to July 5.

Located on the northeast part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Qinghai, dubbed "the Third Arctic Terrain", is considered a great place for mountain and rock climbing by many fans from home and abroad. The province has also hosted the climbing World Cup for three years since 2006.

As a biennial event, the championship has been hosted in Europe since the first edition in Frankfurt, Germany in 1991. The last one was in Aviles, Spain, 2007.

Editor: Zhao Yanchen | Source: Xinhua