Eight climbers (out of a total of 27) entered Saturday’s finals and the French organizers prepared a really excellent atmosphere and the unique spectacle. Ondra, who entered the semi-finals from the first place, was the only one who tops both routes in Friday’s qualification. “I have to say that in qualification, I was quite nervous after such a long time without competitions and I controlled some of my steps may be too much,” says Ondra, who was the only one to top the first route and who top the second one together with the Austrian Schubert.
In the evening semi-finals, the Czech climber was much more confident. “The semi-finals route was not pleasant at all. There were a few question marks when it was not clear at all how to climb the section, where to put my hands, where to put my feet. Even so, I was much more confident and could enjoy the climbing much more,” explains Ondra his feelings about the route.
Ondra eventually reached the same position as the Austrian Schubert, but the initial happiness was replaced by accusations of stepping on the bolt by the side of referees. “I was again accused of, as well as of the Olympic qualification in Japan, that I stepped on the bolt. Fortunately, our protest was accepted and it was confirmed, that I really didn’t stand on it,” comments Ondra this little drama. Despite the same result with Schubert, he advanced to the finals from the first place, due to better result from the qualification.
On Saturday’s finals, Ondra was really enjoying the route and his excellent physical form was confirmed by each step. “I had a great time in the finals. The route was rather endurance one, there were not so many uncertain steps and sequences that were difficult to read. The route graduated with a really difficult endurance finish, which was mainly about the perfect physical form, that I think, was very good in recent weeks,” says Ondra.
The final section was pretty hard, but Ondra will remember this unique atmosphere and applause of 5,000 fans for a long time. “The last meters were really dramatic and I got very tired there. I thought these were my last steps before falling, but fortunately, I was able to hold that tiny hold and clip the rope into the final quickdraw. It was a really beautiful experience when 5,000 spectators applauded me. I think I will remember this victory for a long time,” smiles Ondra just after the competition.
Text: Katerina Kuratkova
Photo: Petr Chodura