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Ice Climber Safdarian Wins Gold in Italy

Mohammad-Reza Safdarian took gold in the men’s lead competition to seal a first ever success for an Iranian in the competition’s 16-year history
Alexey Tomilov (L), Mohammad-Reza Safdarian (C) and YoungHye KwonAlexey Tomilov (L), Mohammad-Reza Safdarian (C) and YoungHye Kwon

Ice climber Mohammad-Reza Safdarian beat his rivals to win the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) Ice Climbing World Tour in Rabenestin, Italy, January 25-27.

According to the website of the event Theuiaa.org, Safdarian raced against five Russians and two South Korean climbers to win gold in the eight-man final round in the lead category.

After Safdarian, Alexey Tomilov from Russia took the second place and South Korea’s YoungHye Kwon finished third.

Last week, Safdarian finished third at the UIAA Ice Climbing World Tour in Saas-Fee, a resort village in the Swiss Alps, Jan. 18-20, and was named the first Iranian to win a medal in the competition’s 16-year history. And with his gold now, he has bettered his record as the first Iranian to win gold at the tournament.

 Lead Finals

The best performer in Saturday’s semifinals, Safdarian continued his impressive and calculated form into the final.

The last climber to attack the ice wall of Rabenstein, Safdarian fell one clip from topping the route with sixty seconds to go, a feat which guaranteed the 25-year old a gold medal. Safdarian heads the overall standings on 165 points.

Masoud Zeynali and Mojtaba Saqafi also qualified but were not successful enough to enter the semis. Iran entered the games with seven men and three women and only Safdarian was successful in winning a medal.

At the previous round of the games in Switzerland, Safdarian took bronze after Russian climbers, Alexey Dengin and Maxim Tomilov.

Lead climbing involves a lead climber attaching themselves to a length of dynamic (elastic) climbing rope and ascending a route while periodically attaching protection (quickdraws or traditional protection) to the face of the route and clipping into it.

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