A jam-packed Climbing Works was host to the CWIF semi-finals earlier today. The top 20 men and women faced a fierce round of 4 boulder problems which sorted the best of the best ahead of tonight's final. Two Brits have qualified for the finals: Michaela Tracy and Matt Cousins, both finishing in 4th place in the semis. Jongwon Chon and Petra Klingler retained their form from the qualifying round to take the top spot heading into finals at 6:30pm this evening.
A technical slab was a harsh first problem for the women, whilst the men tackled a burly compression monstrosity on volumes. Jongwon Chon effortlessly floated up two of the problems, with Italy's Michael Piccolruaz putting on a fine performance to qualify in 2nd place. Matt Cousins' top of problem 4 - completed only by Matt and Alex Megos - sealed his place in the final. Alex is currently struggling with an injured finger and was icing it immediately after the semis, but is adamant that he will be competing in the finals later on regardless. Some strong names have missed out on the finals: Rustam Gelmanov and last year's CWIF Champion, Sean McColl. Will the male CWIF 'curses' be broken? No male champion has ever retained or regained his title and no male who has qualified in 1st place in the semis has ever won the final, but Alex Megos or Jernej Kruder could become the first double CWIF Champion tonight and Jongwon Chon is looking on exceptional form...
Despite climbing with a 'robotic' knee support following an injury in the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup in January, current World Champion Petra Klingler of Switzerland looked solid and flashed two of the problems, with Mélissa le Nevé hot on her heels. Former World Champion Juliane Wurm qualified in 3rd place, proving her skill and experience at competitions despite retiring from the IFSC circuit last year. Michaela Tracy recovered from an unsuccessful round on problem one - the delicate slab - to top problem two and three. In an interview with UKC, she seemed rather excited to be competing in tonight's final...
1) Jongwon Chon KOR
2) Michael Piccolruaz ITA
3) Jan Hojer GER
4) Matt Cousins GBR
5) Alex Megos GER
6) Jernej Kruder SLO
1) Petra Klinger SUI
2) Melissa Le Neve FRA
3) Jule Wurm GER
4) Michaela Tracy GBR
5) Julia Kruder SLO
6) Sol Sa KOR
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