Indian participants at the Asian Games literally have a mountain to climb if they are looking to eye a podium finish in the sport climbing events. However, the popularity of the sport is growing in the country and there is a renewed interest in the sport after it has been included in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Six gold medals are up for grabs in the sports climbing events in the 2018 Asian Games. These include speed climbing, speed relay and combined climbing in both men’s and women’s categories.
Time is the essence in speed climbing, where two competitors race against each other at a time to reach the summit of a 15-metre high wall. There are handholds and footholds along the course for support. Top 16 climbers with the best time move into the knock out rounds and ultimately three climbers with best times finish with the medals.
All the climbers are provided with harness and climbing ropes. Most of the top men climbers in the world complete the ascent in around five to six seconds. An interesting part of the kit of a climber is the footwear. The climbers wear specialised shoes which allows their toes to curl up thus helping them to get a better grip on the footholds on the wall. Climbers 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. Top rankings in all these three events will determine the medal winners.
Considered the most challenging event in climbing, athletes are given six minutes to climb a wall which is around 15 metres 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. Quickdraws are equipment with carabiners to which the ropes are clipped, helping the climbers to make a smooth ascent. If a climber falls down from a certain height, this height is taken as his final reading and he is no allowed to re-climb. If two athletes reach the same height, the climber to have reached the point in a faster time is considered a winner. To prevent the climbers from gaining an advantage by seeing other athletes scaling the wall, athletes are not allowed to watch the ongoing races and are kept away from the site of the contest till their turn comes. The exact route is pre-determined by the route setter before the competition begins.
This competition consists of climbers made to scale a pre-determined route called a 'problem' during a specified time. The route setter, or a person who designs the route of the contest, decides on where the holds for the climbers will be placed along the route.
The climbers can make as many attempts as possible to complete the route in the allotted time. Points are allotted for the 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. The athletes are not permitted to see the route before they commence their climb. Ropes are not allowed in bouldering.
Skateboarding and Roller skating
Another sport which is popular for its adrenaline rush is skateboarding. Agility and supreme balance of the athletes riding on skates while performing the gravity-defying acts make the sport an exhilarating experience. The two events in the Asian Games are the men’s and women’s park and street events.
The course laid out for these events are slightly different. In street skateboarding, elements like staircases and handrails are included while steep inclines and curves are the main features of a park skateboarding course. These curves allow the skateboarders to take off at an astounding speed and perform various mid-air tricks.
In the Asian Games, each participant will be given three attempts of 45 seconds each. Every routine is scored by five judges and the final score of each routine is determined by removing the highest and the lowest score given by a judge. The highest score attained by a skater out of the three attempts will be taken into consideration for the rankings. Top 10-15 skaters, depending on the final number of entries, will advance to the semi-finals while five to seven top scores will make it to the final round. The points are based on degree of difficulty, style, innovation and consistency.
The roller-skating event at the Asian Games will feature one event each in men’s and women’s categories — 20km road race. The participants on roller skates will compete over 52 laps on a 380m circuit. A maximum of four wheels are allowed on the skates.
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Updated Date: Aug 03, 2018 19:14:13 IST