Fans from all over the world tuned-in to the live stream of the first boulder World Cup of the season this weekend. After the semi-final round, the women’s Finals running order was mostly filled with familiar names: Janja Garnbret (SLO), Petra Klingler (SUI), Akiyo Noguchi (JPN), Fanny Gibert (FRA), and Shauna Coxey (GBR). An impressive performance in Semis earned Oceania Mackenzie (AUS) the sixth spot, ahead of USA’s Alex Johnson and Kyra Condie. It was Mackenzie’s first time in a WC final round. Canada’s Alannah Yip looked very much on form and ended up in 15th place.
For the men, in a dramatic turn around, top qualifier Nathan Phillips (GBR) ended up in 20th and a drop from second to 15th place for Nathaniel Coleman (USA). Disappointing, to be sure, but not necessarily surprising as the pressure is high for top qualifiers, and the field is so deep for the men that big shuffles in the ranks happen all of the time.
In the end, the Japanese team took four of the top six spots: Tomoa Narasaki, Rei Sugimoto, Kokoro Fujii, and Tomoaki Takata (who eked in front of Aleksey Rubtsov with two fewer attempts to zone). Rounding out Finals was Jongwon Chon (KOR) and Adam Ondra (CZE)
Finals Highlights and Results
Kokoru Fujii on M2 was super exciting because he was the first one to send the boulder. Fujii got on the problem three times in a row, advancing farther on each attempt until he topped it. It was great sports action. Of course, Sugimoto, Narasaki and Ondra also made impressive ascents of the problem, but Fujii’s quick learning, commitment and power endurance was notable. Fujii ended up in fourth.
By the time we got to M3, it became clear it was going to be a showdown between Ondra and Narasaki, both very strong climbers but also very different in size and style. The boulder got two exciting sends, with Narasaki showcasing his technical, dynamic power and Ondra his sick lock-off power. In the end, the top spot went to Ondra, who was the only competitor to move through the hand-jams on, and finish, M4. Narasaki came second and Rei Sugimoto came third.
For the women, Oceania Mackenzie’s performance on W2 was notably impressive – especially after some of the veteran climbers who followed her struggled on the awkward dynamic combination right hand-foot stab. Fanny Gibert’s speedy, before-the-clock-runs-out send of the boulder was also a highlight. It was almost as if the pressure to send in a short amount of time forced her to climb more dynamically than her usual style, and that’s just what she needed to do to execute the moves.
Shauna Coxsey and Janja Garnbret’s flashes of W3 were both amazing to watch. Coxsey reminded everyone of her massive power and Garnbret just made it look easy, as she has a tendency to do. It took her a few goes but Akiyo Noguchi also sent the problem, keeping her in sight of the podium.
W4 was the deciding boulder and both Garnbret and Noguchi proved themselves worthy of gold and silver with the only two tops of the boulder. The second move – a left-right, sideways jump onto two terrible, big scoop holds shut everyone else down. In the end, Coxsey rounded out the podium with the bronze.
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So much love for the climbing community right now. This event was epic. The energy in that arena was something else. It was a true honour to climb in front of that crowd alongside some wonderfully fierce women. Standing on this podium meant a lot. More than I can explain right now. It was a gruelling battle to even get to the start line. I still can’t believe I walked away with a medal! Thank you so so so much for all of the support throughout the last year. It sure was a tough one. ❤️
Women’s Final Results
1. Janja Garnbret
2. Akiyo Noguchi
3. Shauna Coxsey
4. Fanny Gibert
5. Petra Klingler
6. Oceania Mackenzie
Men’s Final Results
1. Adam Ondra
2. Tomoa Narasaki
3. Rei Sugimoto
4. Kokoro Fujii
5. Jongwon Chon
6. Tomoaki Takata
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First Boulder World Cup and WOW my 20th World Cup victory and first one in Meiringen!! 🤩🤩 This victory means a lot to me ❤️ Couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season! 🤩 Can’t wait to compete next weekend in Moscow 😁 . 🎞 @malek_climbing @redbull @redbullsi #givesyouwings @fiveten_official #brandofthebrave @camp1889 #campcassin @pazi.to #zavarovalnicatriglav @avtohisaklemencic #fordkaplus @postanivojak @sloveniaclimbing