Janja Garnbret, Tomoa Narasaki dominate Meiringen 2022 Boulder World Cup debut

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At Meiringen in Switzerland last weekend Janja Garnbret of Slovenia and Tomoa Narasaki of Japan won the first stage of the Boulder World Cup 2022. Natalia Grossman and Yoshiyuki Ogata won silver, Andrea Kümin and Mejdi Schalck won bronze.

As per tradition, Meiringen in Switzerland hosted the season opener of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Boulder World Cup and as usual the new season got off to a nail-biting, dramatic start. Despite the suspension of all Russian and Belarusian athletes as a result of the Russian – Ukraine conflict, almost 200 athletes took part in the testing qualifiers during which Janja Garnbret set the pace with 5 tops, matched by 20-year-old Ayala Kerem from Israel who stunned everyone to produce her best performance to date. In the men’s qualifiers only Slovenia’s Zan Lovenjak Sudar sent all five problems, while Tomoa Narasaki comfortably dominated his group and appeared on magnificent form.

The Semifinals were brutal, too, and will be remembered above all for the unusal moment when Gregor Vezonik’s feet slipped and his fist remained firmly stuck in a handjam. He immediately turned to the judges for help but it was quick-thinking Mika Mawem who, instead of brushing his boulder, raced across the mats and lifted Vezonik out of trouble. The crack proved the scene of another technical incident later on when, plastered in blood, it had to be cleaned causing a 45 minute delay. These notes aside, it was Garnbret once again who took the provisional lead thanks to her lone 4 tops, just like Narasaki and his teammate Kokoro Fuji.

In the finals Garnbret displayed a stunning combination of athleticism and finesse by not only topping out on all four problems, but by doing so in nigh impeccable style with 3 flashes. In fact, had it not been for an almost imperceptible mistake and false start on boulder #1 which she duely sent second go, she would no doubt have flashed them all! Natalia Grossman proved why she is reigning boulder World Champion and her 3 tops and 4 zones, achieved with impressive coordination, resolve and her hallmark grin, earned her the silver medal. The crowd went wild when Swiss favourite Andrea Kümin produced her best performance to date and bagged not only bronze, but also the first World Cup medal of her career. The 24-year-old beat last season’s revelation Oriane Bertone from France, Japan’s Ito Futaba and Serbia’s Stasa Gejo who finished fourth, fifth, and sixth respectively.

In the men’s event Tomoa Narasaki’s victory was a roller-coaster ride of emotions. The 25-year-old got off to a great start by flashing #1, but he subsequently failed to make significant headway on the next two blocs, slipping into provisional 5th. Then, instead of swinging to-and-fro to gain momentum on the incredibly burly last problem like everyone else, the 2016 and 2019 former world champion shot upwards like a loaded spring and snatched the top on his second attempt to claim victory. Minutes earlier teammate Ogata Yoshiyuki had secured the only other top on the final problem and the 24-year-old, who had figured out how to complete #3 just a few seconds too late – finished second to claim his sixth sixth World Cup medal. France’s rising start Mejdi Schalck ranked third overall and he too had seen victory in his grasp – the 17-year-old twice touched the last hold on boulder #4 but failed to stick it. His determined last attempt in the dying seconds on this bloc was particularly impressive, as was the fact that he was the only athlete to top out on bloc #2, which involved a complex dyno up to a crack before a further jump to the final overhanging, dual-textured top hold. Schalck’s teammate and former Youth World Champion Paul Jenft placed fourth and actually missed out on the podium by the narrowest of margins, since the top four finalists all secured 2 tops and 3 zones and were therefore separated by the number of attempts needed. Colin Duffy of the USA placed fifth after topping out and only then being ordered to restart on boulder #3, twice! His bizarre three tops on this problem will certainly go down in competition folklore – while current Boulder World Champion Fujii Kokoro of Japan, finished sixth.

While Meiringen proved a great show, important questions remain unanswered, such as the streaming rights sold, much to everyone’s surprise, just a few days prior to the event, resulting in the end of the free streaming service on Youtube. And also the fact that, in the Qualifiers and Semifinals, athletes were provided with photos of the boulders; apart from taking away the magic and creativity needed to solve a problem under pressure, many athletes lamented the fact that this unprecedented move was unfair since competitors did not have the equal amount of time to analyse the boulders. While this issue will most certainly be discussed in due course, it won’t be affecting Garnbret; the 23-year-old has already announced she will spend the rest of the season concentrating on Lead.

The next stage on the 2022 IFSC World Cup Series tour will be the South Korean city of Seoul, where World Cup events in Boulder and Speed are set to take place from 6 to 8 May.

Female
1 Janja Garnbret SLO 4t4z 5 5

2 Natalia Grossman USA 3t4z 8 16
3 Andrea Kümin SUI 1t2z 1 3
4 Oriane Bertone FRA 1t2z 1 5
5 Futaba Ito JPN 0t2z 0 8
6 Stasa Gejo SRB 0t1z 0 3
7 Hannah Meul GER
8 Fanny Gibert FRA
9 Madison Fischer CAN
10 Cloe Coscoy USA
11 Chaehyun Seo KOR
12 Brooke Raboutou USA
13 Camilla Moroni ITA
14 Chloe Caulier BEL
15 Kylie Cullen USA
16 Ayala Kerem ISR
17 Franziska Sterrer AUT
18 Jessica Pilz AUT
19 Lucia Dörffel GER
20 Sol Sa KOR
21 Eliska Adamovska CZE
21 Flavy Cohaut FRA
23 Vita Lukan SLO
23 Sofya Yokoyama SUI
25 Mia Krampl SLO
25 Nanako Kura JPN
27 Hana Koike JPN
27 Miho Nonaka JPN
29 Maya Madere USA
29 Mia Aoyagi JPN
31 Molly Thompson-Smith GBR
31 Johanna Färber AUT
33 Ievgeniia Kazbekova UKR
33 Saki Kikuchi JPN
35 Clothilde Morin FRA
35 Laura Rogora ITA
37 Liv Egli SUI
37 Sara Copar SLO
39 Lucka Rakovec SLO
39 Giorgia Tesio ITA
41 Zélia Avezou FRA
41 Roxana Wienand GER
43 Julija Kruder SLO
43 Melina Costanza USA
45 Hannah Slaney GBR
45 Natalie Bärtschi SUI
47 Irina Daziano ITA
47 Katja Debevec SLO
49 Naama Yohai ISR
49 Anon Matsufuji JPN
51 Aida Torres Illamola ESP
51 Aleksandra Totkova BUL
53 Oceania Mackenzie AUS
53 Alannah Yip CAN
55 Leonie Lochner GER
55 Eva Maria Hammelmüller AUT
57 Emily Phillips GBR
57 Mailys Piazzalunga FRA
59 Maya Dreamer ISR
59 Sandra Lettner AUT
61 Valeri Kremer ISR
61 Quinn Mason USA
61 Sandra Hopfensitz GER
64 Babette Roy CAN
64 Anja Köhler SUI
64 Holly Toothill GBR
67 Sanja-Riia Collin FIN
68 Indiana Chapman CAN
69 Ingrid Kindlihagen NOR
69 Zoé Egli SUI
69 Jennifer Wood GBR
72 Katrine Vandet Salling DEN
73 Yael Taub ISR
73 Laura Loikas FIN
73 Lujza Michalková SVK
76 Paige Boklaschuk CAN
77 Vanda Michalkova SVK
77 Rut Monsech Gasca ESP
79 Valentina Aguado ARG
79 Regine Storå NOR
81 Elizabeth Sepulveda PUR
81 Bianca Magalhaes De Castro BRA
83 Doriane Mary Saramandif MRI

Male
1 Tomoa Narasaki JPN 2t3z 3 6
2 Yoshiyuki Ogata JPN 2t3z 5 19
3 Mejdi Schalck FRA 2t3z 7 9
4 Paul Jenft FRA 2t3z 15 18
5 Colin Duffy USA 1t4z 19 27
6 Kokoro Fujii JPN 1t3z 4 27
7 Yuji Inoue JPN
8 Maximillian Milne GBR
9 Keita Dohi JPN
10 Manuel Cornu FRA
11 Nicolai Uznik AUT
12 Mickael Mawem FRA
13 Gregor Vezonik SLO
14 Tomoaki Takata JPN
15 Benjamin Hanna USA
16 Alexander Megos GER
17 Anze Peharc SLO
18 Jernej Kruder SLO
19 Gholamali Baratzadeh IRI
20 Zan Lovenjak Sudar SLO
21 Nathaniel Coleman USA
21 Nicolas Collin BEL
23 Jongwon Chon KOR
23 Kento Yamaguchi JPN
25 Martin Bergant SLO
25 Christoph Schweiger GER
27 Ross Fulkerson USA
27 Satone Yoshida JPN
29 Sascha Lehmann SUI
29 Sam Avezou FRA
31 Hannes Van Duysen BEL
31 Rei Kawamata JPN
33 Nathan Phillips GBR
33 Sean Mccoll CAN
35 Victor Baudrand CAN
35 Geva Levin ISR
37 Alex Khazanov ISR
37 Jakob Schubert AUT
39 Florian Klingler AUT
39 Simon Lorenzi BEL
41 Hamish Mcarthur GBR
41 Dohyun Lee KOR
43 Ram Levin ISR
43 Alex Waterhouse GBR
45 Nimrod Marcus ISR
45 Michael Piccolruaz ITA
47 Sean Bailey USA
47 Matic Kotar SLO
49 Hannes Puman SWE
49 Slav Kirov BUL
51 Edvards Gruzitis LAT
51 William Ridal GBR
53 Jan-Luca Posch AUT
53 Adrien Lemaire FRA
55 Kim Marschner GER
55 Mark Brand NED
57 Max Kleesattel GER
57 Nino Grünenfelder SUI
59 Ben Abel AUS
59 Anthony Gullsten FIN
59 Don Van Laere NED
62 Kevin Heiniger SUI
63 Piotr Schab POL
63 Oscar Baudrand CAN
65 Pietro Vidi ITA
65 Radin Foroughian IRI
67 Marek Jeliga CZE
67 Kipras Baltrunas LTU
69 Nils Favre SUI
69 Julien Clémence SUI
71 Yan Jakob SUI
71 Nimród Sebestyén Tusnády HUN
73 Gergő Vályi HUN
73 Marcello Bombardi ITA
75 Nikolay Rusev BUL
75 Louis Guignard SUI
77 Philipp Geisenhoff SUI
77 Filip Schenk ITA
77 Lasse Von Freier GER
80 Alberto Ginés López ESP
81 Theis Lindegren Elfenbein DEN
81 Lucas Uchida CAN
83 Martin Stranik CZE
83 Attila Zsombor Radics HUN
85 Fedir Samoilov UKR
85 Zach Richardson CAN
87 Jonas Utelli SUI
87 Fredrik Serlachius SWE
89 Vivian Fumeaux SUI
89 Olaf Malinowski POL
89 Alejandro Crespo Cobos ESP
92 Felipe Ho Foganholo BRA
92 Michael O’neill IRL
94 Jakub Zietek POL
94 Leto Cavé NED
96 Sergii Topishko UKR
96 Hossein Familrohani IRI
98 Axel Lindfors FIN
99 Anton Young Hong Nielsen DEN
99 Seyed Reza Chashi IRI
99 Rodrigo Iasi Hanada BRA
99 Iman Arezeh IRI
99 Emil Abrahamsson SWE
99 Dominic Burns IRL
99 Joshua Bruyns RSA
99 Jesse Grupper USA
107 Tuukka Simonen FIN
108 Roman Batsenko UKR
108 Frederik Viberg Christiansen DEN
110 Amiad Lipman ISR
111 Pedro Avelar BRA
111 Mateus Rodrigues Bellotto BRA
Thilo Jeldrik Schröter NOR

Info: www.ifsc-climbing.org






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