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2021’s Meiringen World Cup Off To Incredible Start

The Meiringen World Cup has concluded its Qualifying Round after some amazing performances from the world's strongest.

The Meiringen World Cup has concluded its qualifying round with 20 men and 20 women heading into semi-finals.

This event marks the IFSC’s return to regularly scheduled competitions and, while this event did occur later in the year than in past seasons, it appeared to go off without any problems.

The competition broke the men’s and women’s fields into two sub categories per gender. These subcategories, A and B, each had their own five boulder problems. The top 10 athletes from each subcategory moved onto the semi-finals rounds.

This unique competition format would, at its busiest, run a total of 10 athletes. This allowed the event to move quickly through its competitors.

Although the competition appeared to move through the athletes at a good speed, physical distancing could not be maintained over the length of the competition.

Team Canada’s Sean McColl expressed doubt last week regarding the efficacy of IFSC regulations in this World Championship. Although a recently peer reviewed study has shown that chalk reduces COVID-19’s density by 99%, the close proximity of athletes must leave questions as to whether competition can, in fact, be returned to safely.

While only time will show whether or not this sort of competition poses a risk, the top 20 competitors from each category offered an exceptional display before an excited audience.

This audience, tuning in via livestream would comment on the seemingly lax COVID restrictions, though the majority of the conversation surrounded the radical nature of the event. People seem happy to have competition climbing back in the fold.

The men competed earlier in the day while the women began their competition a few hours after the end of the men’s event.

Men Heading to Semi-finals:

1 : Kokoro Fujii (JPN)

1 : Adam Ondra (CZE)

3 : Sohta Amagasa (JPN)

3 : Domen Skofic (SLO)

5 : Nathaniel Coleman (USA)

5 : Jernej Kruder (SLO)

7 : Manu Cornu (FRA)

7 : Nicolai Uznik (AUT)

9 : Alexander Megos (GER)

9 : Nicolas Collin (BEL)

11 : Alexey Rubtsov (RUS)

11 : Mejdi Schalck (FRA)

13 : Zan Lovenjak Sudar (SLO)

13 : Tomoaki Takata (JPN)

15 : Ross Fulkerson (USA)

15 : Yannick Flohe (GER)

17 : Yoshiyuki Ogata (JPN)

17 : Sean Bailey (USA)

19 : Gregor Vezonik (SLO)

19 : Sascha Lehmann (SUI)

Watch the livestream here.

Women Heading To Semi-finals:

1 : Janja Garnbret (SLO)

1 : Akiyo Noguchi (JPN)

3 : Natalia Grossman (USA)

3 : Oriane Bertone (FRA)

5 : Brooke Raboutou (USA)

5 : Stasa Gejo (SRB)

5 : Roxana Wienand (GER)

8 : Andrea Kümin (SUI)

9 : Lucka Rakovec (SLO)

9 : Mia Krampl (SLO)

11 : Camilla Moroni (ITA)

11 : Miho Nonoaka (JPN)

13 : Franziska Sterrer (AUT)

13 : Jessica Pilz (AUT)

15 : Lucija Tarkus (SLO)

15 : Vita Lukan (SLO)

17 : Ayala Kerem (ISR)

17 : Julia Chanourdie (FRA)

19 : Elena Krasovskaia (RUS)

19 : Katja Debevec (SLO)

Watch the livestream here.

While many will notice that several Olympians that competed in this event did not qualify for their semi-final round, Olympians follow a training cycle unique from World Cup athletes. With that said, Kokoro Fujii dominated the field continuing his incredible streak in bouldering competitions.

Furthermore, many that have qualified for the Olympics qualified due to their combined scores and not because of their proclivity for bouldering. Although Team Japan did well, Team Slovenia appeared to show up in peak form taking 10 of the 40 available qualifying positions.

With that said, Team USA also brought the heat, despite two of their Olympians not quite making semi’s. Between the USA qualifying event in SLC and now this qualifying round, Ross Fulkerson and Natalia Grossman have established themselves as two of the country’s strongest competition climbers.

As this is the first time many athletes have competes internationally in over a year, the Meiringen World Cup will prove to be something exceptional.

Featured image of Nicolas Collin.