Just few hours ago Mohammad Jafari from Iran became 1st in ABS16 Open US National Championship. Is not it hard to digest? Ok, I got it when world-class athlete like Juliane Wurm did it last year in ABS15, you can see her in World Cup finals all the time. But Mohammad Jafari? Who is he? There is so little about him on Internet, almost NOTHING, no youtube videos, no articles in any climbing or sport magazine.
This year LT11 commercial was telling us that they are not just broadcasting video stream, but that they “tell the story”. Maybe I have missed it, but we heard nothing about Mohammad from the commentators, no story was told about him. On a side note, I felt like the commentators only talked about very few climbers that they choose to talk about (Puccio, Woods and Alex Johnson); no offence, but I expected a little bit more from them, more info about climbers, what their background/story is and etc (not just repeating how excited they are to watch the comp).
Here is a link with Mohammad’s bio:
Here is a link with his comp history:
- At 31 y.o. he was probably the oldest male competitor.
- His comp record does not look like the one of the rock-star. Seems, he did pretty well around 2007-2008 in Asian championships, but then I can’t find any record of him competing.
- Iran does not have (yet) a reputations of a place where super strong climbers hang out.
- Still Mohammad did better than the strongest US climbers.
So how did it happen? And what does it mean? At this point I have only (wild) speculations. First, maybe because US climbers do not participate that often in the International comps (except Puccio) they do not have realistic reference point of how hard other people outside US climb. Second, the way Mohammad looked and climbed tells me about his high level of general athleticism; maybe this aspect (how important is general non-climbing-specific training) for bouldering on plastic is something that American climbers have not comprehended yet completely. I do not know. But look on youtube how German climbing team trains together: you see discipline and organization there, you see how coaches intelligently shape their athletes into perfection in all aspects.
I think there is lot to think about. If I ran LT11, I would invite to booth and have interview with Mohammad not Daniel.
By the way, talking about Daniel Woods, tons of respect, really, 9th time National champ. But why not to shake hands on the podium and show some respect? (correction: Daniel and Mohammad do shake their hands before Mohammad steps on the podium, author’s apologies) And then post comp interview, why does he complain than nobody explained new format/rules to him? Come on, dude, you can’t read it yourself? Then he said that not knowing the format stopped him from doing the right things; man, you sit with your back to the wall, you do not know (and not supposed to know) how other boys climb anyway, the only strategy you have is to climb as hard as you can. What were you talking about? Oh, well, I guess Daniel was tired and really not happy that Mohammad defeated him, but still, gentleman must behave.