The fourth round of the IFSC Boulder World Cup and the third round of the Speed World Cup 2019 took place in Wujiang, China last weekend. Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) won the men's Boulder event and Janja Garnbret (SLO) continued her winning streak, taking home her fourth gold medal of the season. In the speed competition, Dmitrii Timofeev (RUS) and Aleksandra Rudzinska (POL) won gold.
No Brits progressed to the semi-finals in bouldering, but Emily Phillips broke her British women's speed record which she set just one week ago in Chongqing (10.898 seconds), hitting the buzzer in 10.731 seconds. Records and personal bests for multiple nations and athletes have been broken so far this season as more emphasis has been placed on the speed discipline ahead of Tokyo 2020.
In the boulder finals, Japan once again occupied a considerable portion of the final spots, with 7 athletes making the cut. The youngest competitor in the final - competing in her first ever boulder World Cup - was current Youth World Champion Ai Mori (JPN). She smoothly topped the first boulder, despite her height forcing her to work harder to catch the crux coordination move. Julia Chanourdie (FRA) was competing in her first boulder World Cup final and proved that she is not only an elite level lead athlete. Janja Garnbret (SLO) misjudged the coordination move, while Akiyo Noguchi (JPN) flashed the problem with ease. Her compatriot Miho Nonaka (JPN) - the reigning Boulder World Cup champion - was competing in her first World Cup of the season, having suffered with a shoulder injury for the past couple of months. Although not 100% back to full fitness, Nonaka achieved 2 tops and 4 zones to place 4th. Mori impressed with 3 top and 4 zones, earning her a bronze medal in her first ever World Cup. Garnbret was the only athlete to top problem 2, earning her the gold medal. Noguchi took silver with 3 tops and 4 zones. Austria's Jessica Pilz placed 5th.
The men's final saw fewer tops and a Japanese-dominated field, with 4 of 6 athletes qualifying alongside Jakob Schubert (AUT) and Jan Hojer (GER). Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) was the only competitor to successfully top problem 1 and managed two further tops, putting in him in a strong position for the win. Compatriot Kai Harada pushed Narasaki, narrowly missing out on gold due to a higher total number of attempts. An appeal was made and won after judges initially denied him a top on M3 - a tricky slab with a tenuous finishing position. The judges awarded him a top and he placed 2nd behind Narasaki. Jakob Schubert completed the podium in 3rd - his first boulder World Cup podium of the season.
The next round is in Munich, Germany, on 18th and 19th May.
IFSC Climbing Worldcup (B,S) - Wujiang (CHN) 2019