India's Mani clinches gold at Lead Paraclimbing World Cup

India's Mani clinches gold at Lead Paraclimbing World Cup

TOJ Athlete Manikandan Kumar aka Mani won gold at the 2015 IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup at Imst, Austria last Sunday. This is his second gold and seventh medal in an international competition in the last four years.

Manikandan Kumar is on a roll. Not only has he won his second gold at an international event, but the paraclimbing world champion has proven that he can get to the top (literally), against all odds.

The TOJ athlete clinched gold at the International Federation for Sport Climbing (IFSC) Paraclimbing World Cup Series held in Imst, Austria last Sunday.

31 climbers from the world participated in the annual event, which was being held in Austria for the second time. Mani belonged to the Men Neurological Physical Disability A category and competed with seven others in his category. Juan Pipo Gil Blanco from Spain stood second and Daniel Bar David from Israel held the  third position.

"I have come so close to winning many gold medals in so many occasions but I end up getting silver medals so far, but the wait is over to win the gold medal. I have won gold in the just concluded IFSC Para climbing cup held in Imst, Austria 2015," Mani wrote in a Facebook post, just after the win.

His first gold was at the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championship in 2012 in Bercy, Paris, and his first stint at an international event. The World Championship happens once every two years. Ever since, he has had a podium finish at every international competition.

Talking about the competition, the Bangalore-based climber said, "The routes here in Austria are based on climbing grades and we need to climb 6 routes with different grades."

"The first day we had to climb three routes and I was the only climber to top all the routes and the next day, we had to climb the remaining three routes to decide the winner.

The routes were quite challenging on the second day but I managed to top all to win the Austria competition," he told The Outdoor Journal in an email.

Despite consistently making waves at international competitions, he struggles for funds. He receives continuous support from General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure (GETHNAA), an autonomous body of south India's Karnataka’s state government, responsible for promoting adventure related activities. He also receives support from brands like Adventure 18 along with his friends and students.

The IFSC is an international non-governmental, non-profit organisation, headquartered in Torino, Italy, with an objective of promoting and developing climbing competitions around the world. The Paraclimbing World Championship is part of the IFSC Climbing World Championship 2014 (Lead, Speed, Paraclimbing). The event is held every two years.

Read more about Manikandan here.