Athletes' Committee open letter from Jorg Verhoeven

Tomoa Narasaki in last year's Munich World Cup
© Heiko Wilhelm
I'd like to create some awareness of the problems around the European Bouldering Championships this year.

As some will know, no organizer applied, so it was decided that the Munich World Cup in August will serve double.

Unfortunately nobody thought about the fact that in bouldering there are two separate qualifier groups, which have different sets of boulders, and contain a different amount of (non)European climbers.

Hence in the World Cup there is no countback to qualifiers, as it simply would be unfair to compare two climbers that didn't climb the same problems.

Imagine this case:

  • Climber 1 places 30th in group A but is third best European and does not make it to semifinals.
  • Climber 2 places 10th in group B but is tenth best European and makes it to semifinals.
  • Climber 2 will be ranked above climber 1 in the European Champioship

In conclusion, there seems to be no way to have a fair bouldering European Championship within a World Cup, that's why in my opinion the better solution would be to have no Europan Chmpionship at all.

Another way to look at it: This year's World Cups often saw less than half of semi finalists European, and chances are actually not unlikely the entire finals is non-European. Great feeling that must be for the champion, ending up 10th in the World Cup, not even having climbed finals!

Anyone else agreeing with these issues?

I'd love to know from some of the competitors: would you rather have an 'unfair' ECH or no ECH at all?

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