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A Powerful Semi-Finals and Surprising Finalists

A massive upset for Yoshiyuki Ogata helped define the tantalizing second round of the Salt Lake CIty World Cup, while the Women's Final Six could each walk away with the win!

After a challenging round this afternoon, six women and six men will move on to Finals.

Adam Ondra in Meiringen – Photo by Vladek Zumr

In a stunning turn of events, the first-place qualifier Yoshiyuki Ogata could not complete a single boulder problem in the finals round. The challenging problems in the Men’s field began with an un-top-able slab that surely shook the minds of the conventionally powerful field.

Several Olympians would not make the Finals field including Alex Megos, Colin Duffy and Michael Piccolruaz. Perhaps more surprising than those names excluded from the top six were those found at the top of the 20-man field. Kokoro Fujii, a notoriously strong boulderer from Japan, laid down an impressive round and took first position.

Adam Ondra would take second, retaining a consistency that should bode well for the Czech climber in the final round. Beyond the top two positions, the remaining four positions were separated by attempts.

Slovenia’s Gregor Vezonik, Austria’s Jakob Schubert, Slovenia’s Anze Peharc, and France’s Mejdi Schalck finished in third through sixth respectively. They each scored one ascent and three zones.

Mejdi Schalck, like Oriane Bertone, offered an extremely strong performance despite his relative inexperience at this level of competition. The young French climbers appear to offer a new age for France’s National Team and it will become interesting to see how they progress over these next seasons.

For the women, the top six qualified athletes each offered an extremely exciting competition. America’s Natalia Grossman and Brooke Raboutou took first and second position with four tops, four zones and three tops four zones respectively. Grossman’s performance has become a point of interest for the entire international field as her consistency has not been matched by any climber except for Janja Garnbret.

With that said, the Austrian Team offered a strong performance as well, only losing out to Raboutou on attempts. Japan’s Miho Nonaka had a casual round, picking up those ascents she required in only a few attempts. She will likely carry quite a bit of energy into Finals. Finally, Bertone rounded out sixth position like her teammate, Schalck.

Bertone has shown remarkable resilience despite her age and finished her round in seven attempts with two tops and four zones. She could have retain quite a bit of energy throughout the round as well.

The setting for semi-finals differed from Meiringen significantly. The simple design of the routes offered a great of difficulty, asking the climbers to pull hard if they wanted to move on to finals.

Finals will stream tonight at 7:00 pm EST beginning with the Women’s field and concluding with the Men’s.

The Six Men Advancing to Finals

1 : Kokoro Fujii (JPN)

2 : Adam Ondra (CZE)

3 : Gregor Vezonik (SLO)

4 : Jakob Schubert (AUT)

5 : Anze Peharc (SLO)

6 : Mejdi Schalck (FRA)

The Six Women Advancing to Finals

1 : Natalia Grossman (USA)

2 : Brooke Raboutou (USA)

3 : Johanna Farber (AUT)

4 : Jessica Pilz (AUT)

5 : Miho Nonaka (JPN)

6 : Oriane Bertone (FRA)

Featured Image of Futaba Ito by Daniel Gajda.