Saúl Robledo: “The Climbing Madrid Difficulty Championship will be spectacular”

Within the framework of the largest climbing festival in the country, Climbing Madrid, which this year hosts the Spanish Difficulty and Paraclimbing Championship, as well as the Madrid Difficulty Championship (under 18 and Absolute categories), we have had the opportunity to talk with Saúl Robledo Arranz (Madrid, 1976)technical director of the Madrid Mountaineering Federation. In this interview, we explore his view on the evolution of climbing, the impact of raising the level of competitions, such as the one soon to be held in Arroyomolinos, and the success of Madrid athletes.

What aspects make the Community of Madrid suitable and deserving of hosting an event like Climbing Madrid?

Mainly, Madrid’s climbing community is one of the largest in Spain. We have many climbing areas that promote climbing from nature. Furthermore, today the growth of indoor climbing facilities has been incredible. They are increasingly of better quality and larger, meaning that all climbers in Madrid have many places to practice climbing and also all the modalities, both bouldering and difficulty and speed.

The Spanish and Madrid Difficulty Championship will be held on an exterior wall with the same standards as the IFSC World Cup. What impact do you think it will have on the competition?

It will be quite spectacular. In recent years, there has been a tendency to try to raise the level of national competitions, and also that of regional and regional competitions. And, in a few years, what there will be is a ranking to be able to participate in national competitions.

I think it will give it much more spectacularity because routes very similar to those in the World Cup can be equipped.

“People will be able to see what is seen in an international competition”

Regarding the level and performance of competitors this year, how do you see the climbers of the Madrid Mountaineering Federation?

They are at a very high level. Perhaps in Catalonia there are climbers who are a little above, but we have people from Madrid who have already been in European Cups and have made podiums and, clearly, they can surprise and win in their categories, both in the absolute category and in the under 18 category. They are at a very good level.

What are we going to see in the Arroyomolinos competition?

Attendees are going to have a great show, they are going to see climbers from all over Spain and athletes climbing very hard and very well.

What are the reasons behind the success of the Madrid speed climbing team?

The main reasons are the commitment of our Speed, Block and Difficulty selector and coach, who saw that opportunity in this new sport that was emerging. And from the Madrid Mountain Federation we supported them financially, we put all possible resources at their disposal and hired a specialist in speed climbing, our colleague Omid, of Iranian nationality, a specialist and speed competitor in his country, in addition to having a degree. in CCAFD (Physical Activity and Sports Sciences). From there, we started training a speed team. We had 19 athletes and what we did is double the number of athletes, because speed climbing became the sport itself, and there were athletes who wanted to just be sprinters, totally focused and motivated on speed climbing. In a very short time, with this coach, we have been winning European championships, many medals in national competitions and practically the entire national speed team is from Madrid.

Team and climbers of the Madrid Mountaineering Federation. Photo: FMM / Photo: Madrid Mountaineering Federation

“We have been winning European championships, many medals in national competitions and practically the entire speed team at the national level is from Madrid”

How do you feel about having been pioneers in incorporating a specific technical training program for young people and future promises of climbing?

To a certain extent we feel proud of what we are doing, especially because we ensure that the effort we are making, both financially and in terms of resources and personnel, is rewarded; That it is seen that the boys win medals, that they remain excited, that they want to continue competing, that for me is the most important thing.

How have you experienced the popularization of the sport of climbing in recent years?

It is something very curious. He has been climbing for 35 years and at that time we didn’t even imagine it, it was something that didn’t enter our heads. In fact, when someone wanted to set up a climbing wall we said: this is not going to work, it is impossible. The climbing community will never want to pay to go climbing. However, look where we are.

Climbing is a sport that helps you in your life. Apart from exercising, it helps you on a psychological level and that hooks people a lot. It is no longer just the adrenaline part, which is what hooked us when we were young, but the sport itself helps you live better.

“Climbing is a sport that helps you in your life. Apart from exercising, it helps you on a psychological level and that hooks people a lot”

What message would you send to someone who is starting out?

I would encourage them to climb, it is a very complete sport and although it may seem like it is only for people who are very fit, it is accessible to everyone, because we can all climb. Each one adapting to their level – you can climb a drop below while hanging, a vertical plate or even lying down. It is a sport that generates a lot of confidence because it depends a lot on you and not only on those who are working with you. And above all, the climbing community is a community that helps each other, it is a wonderful sport that will surely get you hooked. So, let everyone try it.

2024-05-28 10:36:34
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