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2015 Toronto Bouldering World Cup – Men’s Qualification Round: Holowach and McColl safely through to next round

An early morning start at the Thornhill Arena.

By Andre Cheuk (Toronto) and Gripped’s intern Sophia Vlahos

All photos by Chris Lepik

The men’s qualification round of the 2015 Toronto Bouldering World Cup brought out some big surprises and great performances from a field 73 strong, Canadians Sean McColl of Vancouver, and Jason Holowach of Saskatoon are among the 20 that made it through to the semi-final round on Sunday, May 31.

Sean McColl going hard.

Sean McColl was top Canadian as expected, in 5th place. McColl was pleased with his qualification performance, “It went well. I was a bit nervous, because last year I didn’t make finals in the first event of the year, so that went through my mind.” McColl felt he climbed, “pretty well. I made some mistakes for sure, but in the end I made it to semi-finals, and that’s is all that matters. Tomorrow is a new day.”

Saskatoon’s Jason Holowach qualified in 7th place, beating out some big names. Holowach was elated with his performance, “I had a couple of mistakes early on, and that got to me a little bit, but obviously making it to the top in that 5 minutes on the first problem, helped erased that, and I moved on to the next.” Holowach is committed to the full IFSC Bouldering World Cup schedule, he said, “this was a big confidence builder… I am really happy I climbed hard and I climbed smart. Hopefully tomorrow goes as well or better.

[shareprints gallery_id=”13334″ gallery_type=”thumb_slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”light” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]The Toronto stop is the first IFSC Bouldering World Cup of the year, and is taking place appropriately enough for the Canadian stop, at the Thornhill Arena, a hockey rink.

With such a large field, the qualifiers were divided into two heats. The morning qualifications provided the first glimpse of how the various competitors might fare.

Award for most stylish foot wear.
Award for most stylish foot wear.

Jakob Schubert of Austria, Jongwon Chon of Korea, topped the field in their respective heats. Both men featured in the finals last year at this event. Chon was particularly impressive, smoothly sending the technical problems, and was the lone qualifier to top all five problems.

Close on their heels are Japanese duo Kokoro Fujii and Rei Sugimoto, followed by Jeremy Bonder and Mickael Mawem of France, leading the large French contingent with, five men through to the next round.

Other familiar stars like Czech Adam Ondra, and Jernej Kruder of Slovenia also qualified as expected.

Adam Ondra at the IFSC World Cup Toronto.

Biggest Casualty of the morning is German Jan Hojer, freshly minted European Champion and current world #1. Commenting on Hojer’s shock exclusion, Canadian star Sean McColl said, “Sometimes it is hard to be one of the first people out (as Hojer was), mainly because you don’t know if the problems are hard or easy. So if the first person goes out and flashed it, great, that doesn’t tell you anything.

If he didn’t do it, then is it because the holds aren’t chalked enough? With Jan, he didn’t do Boulder #2, that cost him. If he had come out later in the round, knowing that he has to do 3 or 4 boulder problems, he would probably attack it a bit differently. That’s the hard thing about being one of the first out, but that’s part of the game… it’s not uncommon.”

Even last year’s winner, Guillaume Glairon Mondet of France, only scrapped into semis in 9th place. With only 3 tops, Mondet spent much of the morning nervously watching the scoreboard, hoping he had done enough.

The other surprise was Stefan Scarperi, who came out of nowhere to land the final podium spot at the European Championships two weeks ago. Scarperi is through to semis in 13th place, many will be watching Scarperi to see how the Italian fares for the rest of the weekend.

Rank NAME Nation Qualification 1 Qualification 2
1 CHON Jongwon KOR 5t10 5b9
1 SCHUBERT Jakob AUT 4t5 4b4
3 FUJII Kokoro JPN 4t6 4b4
3 SUGIMOTO Rei JPN 4t6 4b4
5 BONDER Jeremy FRA 4t6 4b6
7 LEVIER Alban FRA 4t7 5b13
7 OGATA Yoshiyuki JPN 4t8 4b6
9 KRUDER Jernej SLO 4t9 5b11
9 MCCOLL Sean CAN 4t9 4b8
11 DORNAUER Alfons AUT 4t10 4b7
11 ONDRA Adam CZE 4t10 5b8
13 HOLOWACH Jason CAN 4t12 4b8
13 SCARPERI Stefan ITA 3t3 4b4
16 SKOFIC Domen SLO 4t13 4b12
17 CORNU Manuel FRA 4t25 4b18
17 GLAIRON MONDET Guillaume FRA 3t4 4b4
19 BLASER Benjamin SUI 3t7 3b3
19 COLEMAN Nathaniel USA 3t4 4b5
19 CONRAD Mathias GER 3t4 4b5

Full Results at IFSC Climbing