of Czech competitive rope climbing began in the Olympic Games in
turning point in the history
of Czech competitive
rope climbing occurred in early 90´s, when Radko
Valík from Sokol Příbram had the
idea of organizing a competition in the rope climb, in honor of Bedřich
the first Czech Olympic winner. In Příbram, in 1993, the
first modern event in rope climbing made its debut, named the B.
Šupčík´s Memorial. Rules
the climb in this competition were the same as in
a short time rope climbing became popular across the country, and
competitions were established in various cities. At the start of the
new century climbers could compete in more than ten events on the
A year before the 2004 Olympiad in Athens the first repeat of the 1896 Olympic event was held, using a 46 meter rope. Since then, each year there is a special competition on this extremely long rope, which has become quite a show for spectators and a very exciting event for competitors.
However, it became obvious these rules were inadequate. Some climbers used their legs at the beginning of the climb (they pushed themselves off from the floor with their legs), or started climbing before the acoustic signal (they grasped the rope with both hand before the signal), and the hand-held stopwatch was a poor timing mechanism. Referees were overly tolerant. It became necessary to ensure the uniformity of all competitions.
time the present set of rules have evolved. Today climbers start also
in the seated
position; one hand grasps the rope anywhere the climber wishes, but the
second hand must be on the starting button of the electronic timer (see
picture on right).
The second hand may release the button only after the acoustic signal.
button is released before the signal, the time is not recorded and
the climber must
repeat the climb. At
Junior men and women climb a
shorter rope –
In 1993 the first modern record was established for the
Climbers from Sokol Bratislava
Climbers from Sokol Bratislava led the way from the very first modern competition. Martin
Masár - a very dynamic climber - excelled. From the very beginning in 1994 , he won every match and
improved his own record. In 1997 Martin set the Czech record for
Martin Masár was the first czech climber to break Šupčík´s time of 7.2 seconds, which is still regarded as a “magic time to beat”. Besides Masár, sport club Sokol Bratislava has had several other good climbers, especially Martin Vašek and Tomáš Trník. They both beat Šupčík´s time. Vašek has his own personal record of 7.02 seconds. Trník's best time is 6.70 seconds.
Epoch of Josef Křivánek
legendary rope climber, Josef Křivánek, from Troubsko, started his successful carrier. In his
first event he was
the sixth with a time over 9 seconds, but after one year of training he
second man in Czech rope climbing on
Who was faster – Masár or Křivánek ?
Masár is the holder of the best time on
Young Climbers Appear on the Scene
Besides Křivánek and Masár, there are other good climbers who have broken the 7 second barrier. One of the greatest of Křivánek´s rivals was Michal Nedomlel, a good rock climber, who broke the 7 second barrier in 2003 with a time of 6.86 seconds. The last couple of years Michal has taken a competitive break, but his time will soon come.
So far this year, five young climbers set personal records under 7 seconds. One from this group
will surely be
the new Czech Champion for the year. Th best of these is Martin
who was timed at 6.55 seconds (picture on left). Only 3 hundreths
second slower was Štěpán Muchka with a time 6.58.
Probably the biggest favorite
for the year’s Championship is Libor Hroza, who is also the best
speed climber in
Two leading Czech gymnasts, Aleš Novák (picture on right) and Aleš Kočí, both from Sokol Šternberk, have equal times of 6.91 seconds. It is very likely that all these climbers will improve their records very soon, probably in the next competition.
This year there were 7 competitions as qualifiers for the ultimate contest of the season, the Championship of the Czech republic, which will include the best 20 climbers. Current winning times are about 6.5 seconds. But it is likely that during the Championship there will be a better time, perhaps under 6 seconds. In the near future climbers will surely perform the 8 meter climb in under 6 seconds.
To see the Records of all Czech Competitions, click here