September 2, 2014, Central Saanich, BC (ISN) – Czech climber Libor Hroza, who has been training at The Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich, broke the world speed climbing record this past weekend at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Speed World Cup that was held in Arco, Italy.
Boulders climber Libor Hroza celebrates his world speed climbing record following his climb in Arco, Italy (Photo: Giulio Malfer)
Astonishingly, the 26-year old Hroza, who went on to win gold in the event, broke the record twice over the weekend, shattering the previous mark of 5.88 seconds set by Russian climber Evgeniy Vaytsekhovskiy in 2012 with a time of 5.76 seconds in a qualifying run, and then beating that again with a time of 5.73 seconds in his quarter-final run.
This has not been the first time this season that Hroza has flirted with a world record time. Earlier this spring, in a training run at the Boulders, Hroza set a personal best of 5.5 seconds and also topped the world record mark during competition at a World Cup event in Chamonix, France. Unfortunately on that occasion his record could not stand due to technical issues with the wall used. In Arco, however, it was a different story and the new world record now stands at 5.73 seconds.
For those unfamiliar with the sport, speed climbing entails athletes scaling a near-vertical, 15-metre high wall (the wall actually has a 4 degree overhang) along an internationally certified route of holds, in the quickest time possible. If you think that sounds easy, try running 15 metres along the ground and then imagine doing it vertically in less than 6 seconds!
See video of Hroza’s second world record climb below or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEiIfunXTrc
Hroza credits his ability to train at the Boulders, the only gym in North America with a world record certified speed climbing wall, as a big reason for his success. “Being able to train at The Boulders on a daily basis has been incredible,” said Hroza. “Practicing on a wall that is identical to the walls at all the internationally certified competitions has definitely been a huge advantage for me and a big reason for my success.”
Hroza’s success is also being passed along to other speed climbers who train beside him at the Boulders. This past April at the Sport Climbing Association of BC Provincial championships , Boulders climbers won gold in ten of the thirteen age categories, including podium sweeps in the Open Male and Open Female Divisions and climber Robert Stewart-Patterson set a then- new men’s Canadian record time of 7.458 seconds.
Hroza (right) has worked closely with Canadian record holder Robert Stewart-Patterson (left) during their training sessions at the Boulders Climbing Gym (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
In Nationals in Montreal in May, Boulders climbers also dominated the Speed category, with every one of the twelve Boulders speed athletes earning a place in the finals, and ten out of the twelve landing on the podium. Boulders climbers contended in eight age categories, winning gold in seven, silver in three, and placing 4th in two others. One of those climbers, Elena Moss, is now heading to the IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia (France) on September 20-24, 2014.
“Having Libor here at the Boulders has been an incredible experience for all of our climbers,” said Boulders Chair Kimanda Jarzebiak. “He has been able to offer them pointers and suggestions to improve their speed up the wall and our athletes have been able to see what it takes to compete and succeed in the sport at the international level. It has been an honour to have him here and we are so thrilled with his success and the new world records that he set in Italy.”
Hroza will have little time to bask in his world record glory, as he now moves on to the 2014 IFSC World Climbing Championships in Gijon, Spain September 8-14, 2014 where he will be joined by fellow Boulders speed climber Robert Stewart-Patterson, as well as Boulders difficulty climber Elan Jonas-McRae.
About The Boulders Climbing Gym
The Boulders Climbing Gym is a not-for-profit society, with the mandate of making climbing accessible for everyone, regardless of ability or ability to pay. With over 13,000 square feet (1,208 square metres) of climbing space, The Boulders Climbing Gym is a community facility and a unique social enterprise, providing adaptive recreation and rehabilitation programs, youth recreational and competitive programs, as well as facilitating a climbing academy at Stelly’s Secondary School. All instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. See www.climbtheboulders.com for more details.