The 2019 IFSC Boulder World Cup series kicked off in Meiringen, Switzerland this weekend. The first event in what will prove to be a busy year of competitions leading up to Olympic qualification was hotly anticipated by both athletes and spectators alike. Great Britain's Shauna Coxsey marked an impressive return to form in 3rd place after dealing with multiple injuries last season.
So much love for the climbing community right now. This event was epic. The energy in that arena was something else. It was a true honour to climb in front of that crowd alongside some wonderfully fierce women. Standing on this podium meant a lot. More than I can explain right now. It was a gruelling battle to even get to the start line. I still can't believe I walked away with a medal! Thank you so so so much for all of the support throughout the last year. It sure was a tough one. ❤️
Team GB's Nathan Phillips started the season incredibly well, with 5 flashes in the qualifying round to place 1st going into semis. He finished 19th overall. 16-year-old Emily Phillips also made semis, qualifying in 4th place for the semis and finishing 20th.
Perhaps due to the increased workload and pressure of training for Tokyo 2020 Olympic selection, there were multiple absentees and withdrawals from the event. Miho Nonaka (JPN) - 2018 overall World Cup winner - is currently nursing a shoulder injury; Staša Gejo (SRB) tore ligamments in her knee at the Studio Bloc Open recently and Team GB's Molly Thompson-Smith withdrew last-minute due to a niggling finger injury.
Having not competed since Vail 2018, Shauna told IFSC commentator Charlie Boscoe that she had 'absolutely no idea' how her form would translate result-wise this season. Seemingly always 'at home' in Meiringen - where she has won twice in 2016 and 2017 - Shauna commented on Instagram: 'This event was epic. The energy in that arena was something else. It was a true honour to climb in front of that crowd alongside some wonderfully fierce women. Standing on this podium meant a lot. More than I can explain right now. It was a gruelling battle to even get to the start line. I still can't believe I walked away with a medal! Thank you so so so much for all of the support throughout the last year. It sure was a tough one.'
The routesetting team led by Jamie Cassidy pulled out all the stops to provide an exciting final with a broad range of problems testing coordination, balance and even hand-jamming.
Shauna got off to a promising start by topping the first problem on her second attempt with ease, which was also topped by Akiyo Noguchi (JPN). Slovenian favourite Janja Garnbret appeared flustered after opening her finger and being forced by the judges to tape the bleeding. Problem 2 was topped by everyone but Coxsey and Noguchi, involving a dynamic timing move from a slab into a steeper section of wall. Petra Klingler made an impressive flash ascent and moved up the scoreboard. Following a flash of problem 3, Coxsey was in 2nd place to Garnbret; both women having flashed the problem. Problem 4 involved dynamic coordination moves between volumes, which nobody had solved until Garnbret's impressive top on her third attempt. Noguchi was in 3rd place, but a smooth top of problem 4 on her third attempt saw her move above Coxsey to take 2nd place.
The men's final was dominated by the Japanese, with four climbers taking up two-thirds of the six final spots and seven Japanese climbers placing in the top ten. Adam Ondra (CZE) and Jongwon Chon (KOR) completed the line-up. Tomoaki Takata flashed the first problem, which involved a run-and-jump coordination move involving a toe-hook just to reach a stable starting position. Adam Ondra took five attempts to stick this move before completing the problem with ease, but his multiple attempts ranked him in 5th place. Tomoa Narasaki was in the lead after the first three problems, but the final boulder involving a hand-jamming crack turned the tables. Chon and the Japanese climbers struggled to grapple with the crack to reach the bonus, with Chon just managing to secure it on his third attempt. The commentary team and spectators predicted the outcome: Ondra smoothly negotiated the crack, stopping mid-way to fist-pump and get the crowd going, before finishing the problem to take the win. Fresh from crack-climbing in Yosemite and Utah, Ondra's weakness in parcour climbing at the start of the final was bolstered by his crack skills learned outdoors. Tomoa Narasaki and Rei Sugimoto completed the podium.
|1||Janja Garnbret||SLO||4T4z 5 4|
|2||Akiyo Noguchi||JPN||4T4z 5 4|
|3||Shauna Coxsey||GBR||3T4z 5 5|
|4||Fanny Gibert||FRA||3T4z 3 6|
|5||Petra Klingler||SUI||3T4z 4 5|
|6||Oceania Mackenzie||AUS||3T3z 7 4|
|7||Alex Johnson||USA||2T4z 4 8|
|8||Kyra Condie||USA||2T4z 4 9|
|9||Futaba Ito||JPN||2T4z 5 5|
|10||Afra Hönig||GER||2T3z 3 4|
|11||Sandra Lettner||AUT||2T3z 5 5|
|12||Katja Kadic||SLO||2T3z 8 6|
|13||Ievgeniia Kazbekova||UKR||2T2z 5 4|
|14||Berit Schwaiger||AUT||2T2z 6 4|
|15||Alannah Yip||CAN||1T4z 2 10|
|16||Lucka Rakovec||SLO||1T3z 4 8|
|17||Julia Chanourdie||FRA||0T3z 0 5|
|17||Sol SA||KOR||0T3z 0 5|
|19||Julia Pinggera||AUT||0T3z 0 7|
|20||Emily Phillips||GBR||0T3z 0 8|
|21||Hannah Slaney||GBR||Qual' 2T4z 5 9|
|53||Jennifer Wood||GBR||Qual' 0T3z 0 9|
|1||Adam Ondra||CZE||4T4z 10 9|
|2||Tomoa Narasaki||JPN||3T4z 3 4|
|3||Rei Sugimoto||JPN||3T4z 12 12|
|4||Kokoro Fujii||JPN||2T4z 3 11|
|5||Jongwon CHON||KOR||2T4z 5 9|
|6||Tomoaki Takata||JPN||2T4z 5 9|
|7||Aleksey Rubtsov||RUS||2T4z 5 11|
|8||Yoshiyuki Ogata||JPN||2T4z 6 7|
|9||Taisei Ishimatsu||JPN||2T4z 7 9|
|10||Keita Dohi||JPN||2T4z 8 14|
|11||Jernej Kruder||SLO||2T3z 5 8|
|12||Tim Reuser||NED||2T2z 7 5|
|13||YuFei Pan||CHN||2T2z 12 8|
|14||Alex Khazanov||ISR||1T4z 5 18|
|15||Anze Peharc||SLO||1T3z 2 4|
|16||Alexander Megos||GER||1T2z 2 3|
|17||Nathaniel Coleman||USA||1T2z 3 5|
|18||Stefano Ghisolfi||ITA||1T2z 6 10|
|19||Nathan Phillips||GBR||0T3z 0 8|
|20||Gregor Vezonik||SLO||0T3z 0 11|
|29||William Bosi||GBR||Qual' 4T5z 6 5|
|49||David Barrans||GBR||Qual' 3T4z 6 4|
|57||Aidan Roberts||GBR||Qual' 3T4z 7 10|
|67||William Ridal||GBR||Qual' 3T3z 5 3|