Viktoriia Meshkova doubles up with lead win at IFSC European Championships

Meshkova thrilled the home fans in Moscow by adding to her bouldering title, while Swiss Sascha Lehmann won the men's lead event.

By ZK Goh

Russia's Viktoriia Meshkova doubled up by winning the women's lead at the sport climbing IFSC European Championships on Wednesday (25 November) to add to her bouldering title from two days prior. Switzerland's Sascha Lehmann won the men's event.

The 20-year-old had the home fans cheering her on at the Irina Viner-Usmanova Palace of Gymnastics in Moscow as she climbed last, knowing she needed either a top or to better the time of Eliska Adamovska in reaching the 36th hold.

Things were tense as Meshkova reached the higher end of the route, with Czech Republic's Adamskova watching on. Meshkova seemed to time her climb perfectly and had enough time on the last hold to plan her attempt on top, but ultimately fell just short of the guaranteed victory.

"I'm really, really happy, but I wanted the Top," Meshkova said. "It's a really good route, it was hard."

Her time in scoring 36+ was three minutes 53 seconds, bettering Adamskova by 42 seconds.

The pair had both achieved tops in the semi-finals, which resulted in their final timings being taken into account.

Great Britain's Molly Thompson-Smith was third, reaching 31 holds.

There was a surprise in the men's event as home favourite Dmitrii Fakirianov, the best qualifier from the semi-final, fell after reaching 37+.

As the last man to climb the wall, Fakirianov knew the exact score - Lehmann's 41+ - he needed to better. However, he took long breaks midway up the wall and appeared to be feeling the effects of Tuesday's semi-final.

Fakirianov managed enough to edge out Israel's Nimrod Marcus, who also scored 37+, for bronze by virtue of having the better semi-final result. Belgium's Nicolas Collin went one hold higher for silver.

"It's a crazy feeling climbing here, this amazing route, I'm just overwhelmed," Lehmann said. "The route was pretty hard, it was a fight just for the next hold, the next hold."

The Championships conclude with the Combined competition on Friday and Saturday, with one Tokyo 2020 Olympic spot available in each gender.


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