An athlete competes during the men's lead qualification at "The Belt and Road" International Climbing Master Tournament 2019 in Lhasa, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, July 10, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]
A total of 42 climbers from 11 countries and regions kicked off the 2019 Belt and Road China Lhasa International Masters Rock-climbing Tournament in Lhasa on Wednesday.
The tournament began at the Himalayan Mountaineering Guide School of Lhasa, Tibet, under the auspices of the General Administration of Sports of China, the China Mountaineering Association and the Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau.
Among the competitors are climbers from Japan, Russia and Ecuador, including speed climbing world champion He Cuilian of China and World Cup winner Watabe Keita of Japan.
The tournament features four events in two days, namely the men's and women's climbing and difficulty races, but lacks speed races as Lhasa is 3,650 meters above sea level.
After the difficulty races in the morning, several climbers said the difficulty of the route design was moderate, but the high altitude forced them to adjust their breathing and climbing rhythms. There is also a medical area where players can take in oxygen as needed.
The 2019 Belt and Road Climbing Tournament has four stops from Ningbo, Zhejiang to Lhasa, followed by Delingha and Wangxian Mount, according to Wang Qingfu, the competition director of the Climbing Department of the China Mountaineering Association.
Started in 2018, the tournament has been inviting athletes from countries along the Belt and Road route, aiming to promote sports and cultural communication through the sport.
"Tibet has a long history of mountaineering, and rock climbing is an activity derived form mountaineering. I believe Tibet will become a popular venue for rock climbing in the future," said competitor Ma Zida from Chongqing.
Tibetan papermaking has a long history and uses unique raw materials.