The sixth round of the 2018 IFSC Boulder World Cup series took place in Vail, USA last weekend. An influx of USA team climbers shook the final rankings and unseated some of the season's best so far. Shauna Coxsey narrowly missed out on finals, finishing in 7th place, while Aidan Roberts made his first semi-final and achieved his best placing yet - 19th.
IFSC Climbing Worldcup (B) - Vail (USA) 2018
|1||Alex Puccio||USA||3T3z 4 4||3T3z 6 4|
|2||Miho Nonaka||JPN||2T3z 10 11||2T3z 3 4|
|3||Akiyo Noguchi||JPN||2T3z 5 10||1T3z 2 6|
|4||Fanny Gibert||FRA||2T3z 8 9||1T1z 5 2|
|5||Kyra Condie||USA||2T2z 8 8||0T2z 0 4|
|6||Alma Bestvater||GER||1T4z 2 12||0T1z 0 8|
|7||Shauna Coxsey||GBR||1T3z 1 7|
|8||Sol Sa||KOR||1T3z 3 7|
|8||Alannah Yip||CAN||1T3z 3 7|
|10||Hannah Meul||GER||1T3z 5 11|
|11||Franziska Sterrer||AUT||1T2z 3 7|
|12||Lilli Kiesgen||GER||1T2z 5 8|
|13||Mao Nakamura||JPN||0T2z 0 4|
|14||Sierra Blair-Coyle||USA||0T2z 0 7|
|15||Urska Repusic||SLO||0T2z 0 8|
|16||Mei Kotake||JPN||0T1z 0 1|
|16||Maya Madere||USA||0T1z 0 1|
|18||Berit Schwaiger||AUT||0T1z 0 4|
|18||Michaela Kiersch||USA||0T1z 0 4|
|20||Leah Crane||GBR||0T0z 0 0|
|25||Michaela Tracy||GBR||Qual' 1T3z 1 8|
|1||Rei Sugimoto||JPN||2T3z 4 6||3T4z 4 5|
|2||Sean Bailey||USA||2T3z 2 4||2T4z 2 6|
|3||Tomoa Narasaki||JPN||2T4z 4 5||2T4z 3 5|
|4||Jernej Kruder||SLO||3T4z 5 6||0T4z 0 7|
|5||Ryuichi Murai||JPN||2T3z 9 4||0T4z 0 8|
|6||Tomoaki Takata||JPN||2T3z 6 5||0T3z 0 15|
|7||Jongwon Chon||KOR||2T3z 10 4|
|8||Yuji Fujiwaki||JPN||2T2z 6 2|
|9||Aleksei Rubtsov||RUS||1T3z 1 3|
|10||Jan Hojer||GER||1T3z 1 4|
|11||Mickael Mawem||FRA||1T3z 2 3|
|12||Yuki Hada||JPN||1T3z 2 4|
|13||Yoshiyuki Ogata||JPN||1T3z 3 6|
|14||Gregor Vezonik||SLO||1T2z 2 5|
|15||Kai Harada||JPN||1T2z 4 2|
|16||Nathaniel Coleman||USA||0T4z 0 7|
|17||Alex Khazanov||ISR||0T3z 0 3|
|18||Kokoro Fujii||JPN||0T3z 0 4|
|19||Aidan Roberts||GBR||0T3z 0 7|
|20||Elias Weiler||AUT||0T2z 0 2|
|51||Tyler Landman||GBR||Qual' 0T4z 0 13|
Ever an interesting round due to its high elevation (2445m), Vail proved a tough event for those who had followed the circuit around the globe to China and Japan in recent weeks. Travel fatigue, jetlag and the altitude combined to affect some of the big names. Akiyo Noguchi's healthy run of form continued, although her dominance was broken by an especially strong and confident Alex Puccio (USA), whose time out from the IFSC circuit due to injury made her one to keep a close eye on. Despite mentioning in interviews that her focus has shifted to lead recently, Alex topped the leaderboard in each round and won with 3 tops in the final, ahead of Miho Nonaka who claimed two tops. In order to win, Alex had to top the last problem, which she managed to flash to take her second-ever Gold medal. Akiyo placed 3rd with one top and now sits 5 points behind Miho in the overall ranking.
In the men's final, a diverse set of problems made for another unpredictable round. Rei Sugimoto (JPN) took gold ahead of team USA's Sean Bailey, who made his first boulder World Cup final and seemed to thrive on the energy of his home crowd. Once again the last problem decided the winner, with Rei winning his second World Cup since his first Gold in 2013. Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) put himself in good stead for the overall title by placing 3rd. Jernej Kruder (SLO) currently leads by 4 points ahead of Tomoa.
The next round is in Munich, Germany, 17th-18th August.
Great to see the Pooch win. She is surely the strongest woman climber ever. But climbing is not all about strength. Technique and psychology are key too. In this comp she looked like she put it all together and dominated the event. Will be really interesting to see how she does in lead. Fanny Gibert climbed really well too I thought. She was the only person to do P4 in the semis. Impressive in such a strong field.
Although not reflected in the final I thought Jernej still looked really strong. Cool to see a different first place in the men's. Will be interesting to see how Rei Sugimoto does in the next event.
How long before we see an all Japanese podium? Not far off this time with 4 of the 6 places being taken by Japanese.
What about an all-Russian podium http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php/world-competition#!comp=1325&cat=6
Or all-Russian World Champions
Dmittrii and Rustam are well of the pace these days. Alexey and Ekaterina are the only ones making finals.
So the other question about Vail is what happened to Alex Puccio's closest rival, Ashima? She's old enough to enter senior World Cups now so I was hoping we'd see her at Vail.