San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

21-year-old wins Costa Rican rock climbing national title

Thirty of Costa Rica’s strongest rock climbers competed Saturday and Sunday in the 2011 National Climbing Championship held at the National Stadium in west San José.

Gino Negrini, 21, took the national title. Daniel Guevara, 23, earned second place and Aziz Ftis, 22, came in third. Alejandro Villeda took top prize in the amateur division

The competition, organized by Julio Arce for Costa Rican Federation of Mountain Sports and the Association of Climbing and Mountaineering began Saturday. The championship was a bouldering competition – meaning the climbers climbed short but physically and technically difficult routes on artificial climbing walls without the use of ropes.

The first day featured six routes the competitors climbed. Each climber is awarded a score based on a calculation of several factors including the number of attempts it took to complete each route. On Sunday, qualifying climbers faced four more routes, or problems, designed to be trickier than Saturday’s routes.

A crowd of 70 to 80 people showed up to cheer on the climbers each day.

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