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Alannah Yip Leads Canada into Salt Lake Semi-Finals

Canada's Alannah Yip joins five Americans in the Salt Lake City semi-final. The event will begin in the afternoon

Alannah Yip is back. After the 2022 Series openers in Meiringen and Seoul, Canada’s Olympian returned to form in Salt Lake City. Much like the men’s field, Canada joins several Americans in the semi-final set to begin this afternoon.

Cloe Coscoy by Daniel Gajda

As with the men’s field, the women’s category was broken into two subgroups, each with their own set of five boulder problems. To make semis, athletes had to finish their round in the top 10 of their subgroups to bring the total number of semi-finalists to 20.

While many expected Natalia Grossman to lead the way to semis with tops of all five problems, few would have predicted Austria’s Franziska Sterrer qualifying alongside her. Sterrer has not made a Boulder final this season. In fact, she never finished higher than 13 in 2022. Still, Sterrer, like most any of the women who make semi-finals, is strong enough to make a final. Whether she can hold out through to finals is a bigger question.

Grossman’s dominance is slowly being challenged by the constantly improving Japanese Olympian Miho Nonaka. Nonaka had a slow start to 2022 but has steadily climbed higher in the qualification rankings. At one point, Nonaka was the only athlete that could challenge Slovenian champion Janja Garnbret. Today, with four Tops and four Zones she will challenge Grossman as bouldering’s new leader.

France’s Oriane Bertone also remains dangerous to Grossman, after a strong boulder season last year and a silver medal in Seoul. As the battle for gold is more selective than the battle for podium, a great portion of the women’s field could make their ways to Bronze or silver. Italy’s Camilla Moroni and America’s Brooke Raboutou both feature accomplishments from this last year and are favourites for third position.

Oriane Bertone by Daniel Gajda

Still, Raboutou is not the only American who could challenge the podium. Five women total qualified for semis from Team USA. Of those, Kylie Cullen and Cloe Coscoy appear most potent. Coscoy qualified in third position for Category A or fifth overall. The fact that she has climbed either as well or better in each round of her competitions so far this season speaks to the American’s developing ability.

Finally, Adriene Clark, a younger competitor from the US, made her first World Cup semi-final yesterday evening and will benefit from having limited expectations. She joins a dense field of competitors, many of whom are barely separated by attempts.

For example, Canada’s Yip qualified in 13 position with Four Tops and Five Zones, a result she shared with all competitors ranging from 15 to third. Yip’s experience may advantage her in another high-top round. When the boulder problem is technical, Yip excels. If the problem is difficult in a more physical manner, Yip may have to find beta around the otherwise powerful crux.

In either case, Yip joins McNamee in this World Cup semi-final. This result continues to show the deepening of Canada’s team and joins the semi-final qualifications of Victor Baudrand and Sean McColl in Seoul, and Madison Fischer in Meiringen. Canada now has five athletes who have made Boulder semi-finals in the last months, and one Ethan Pitcher who made Speed semi-finals in Salt Lake on Friday.

Tune into semi-finals at 12:55pm ET.

Women Advancing to Semis

1 – Natalia Grossman (USA)

1 – Franziska Sterrer (AUT)

3 – Oriane Bertone (FRA)

3 – Miho Nonaka (JPN)

5 – Camilla Moroni (ITA)

5 – Cloe Coscoy (USA)

7 – Kylie Cullen (USA)

7 – Brooke Raboutou (USA)

9 – Johanna Färber (AUT)

9 – Stasa Gejo (SRB)

11 – Afra Hönig (GER)

11 – Futaba Ito (JPN)

13 – Nanako Kura (JPN)

13 – Alannah Yip (CAN)

15 – Hannah Meul (GER)

15 – Jessica Pilz (AUT)

17 – Laura Rogora (ITA)

17 – Adriene Clark (USA)

19 – Ievgeniia Kazbekova (UKR)

19 – Giorgia Tesio (ITA)

Featured image of Alannah Yip by Daniel Gajda