After nearly 10 years of IFSC competition participation, France’s Mickael Mawem won his first ever World Championship today at the 2023 Climbing World Championships in Bern, Switzerland. Although he’s made many final rounds throughout his storied career, before today, Mawem had never podiumed in World Championship or World Cup competition. The 33-year-old beat out rising stars and young guns Anraku Sorato, Mejdi Schalck and Dohyun Lee in Bern to secure his first place finish. He’s the first ever French man to win a Boulder World Championship.
“It‘s a crazy moment,” said Mawem after his victory. “I’ve waited ten years for this. It was my goal to be the best in the world one time in my life. I’ve had a lot of failures, I’ve come back year after year. We have all these strong young guys now. I can’t believe it. It’s just crazy.
“My favourite moment was the end. Some people say just take pleasure in it, but I work a lot. Every day of the year. I haven’t taken a holiday for ten years. I say to everyone the pleasure will come when I win, and now I’ve won. Yeah the competition is cool, the setting is cool, but the end is the best. I just want to say thank you to all my family. My brother, my mother, my father.”
Mawem flashed the first problem of the finals – a powerful, shouldery bloc on slopers – but so did his teammate Schalck and Japan’s Anraku. Lee topped after three attemps. Mawem had success again on the second problem of evening – a slab problem on big, bulbous blobs – as did Anraku and Lee.
Mawem and Schalck were the only two competitors to top problem #3, leaving Mawem in the lead with three tops. All he had to do was reach the zone on problem #4 to secure his gold medal win. With a little more than a minute left on his problem #4 attempt, he finally held the zone and immediately began to celebrate – he knew that he’d won. After failing the attempt, he fell to the floor and dropped to his knees, overcome by emotion. The crowd roared.
In the end, Mawem won gold with three tops and four zones. He was followed by his teammate Schalck with two tops and four zones. South Korea’s Lee took third with two tops and three zones. Anraku placed fourth with two tops and two zones. An excellent job by the setting team creating such perfect separation.
The women’s Boulder semi-final and final take place tomorrow, Saturday August 5. Both men’s and women’s Lead semi-finals and finals take place the following day, Sunday August 6.
- Mickael Mawem (3T4z 8 12) [FRA]
- Mejdi Schalck (2T4z 5 10) [FRA]
- Dohyun Lee (2T3z 5 15) [KOR]
- Sorato Anraku (2T2z 3 3) [JPN]
- Nicolai Uznik (1T3z 2 5) [AUT]
- Kokoro Fujii (0T2z 0 3) [JPN]