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CLIMBING - Int News 29 Jun, 2024

Japan players sweep Boulder Podium with Amagasa, Narasaki, Anraku
Sports Bulletin ReportInnsbruck (Austria): Another sold-out crowd celebrated the medal winners of the men’s Boulder final in Innsbruck, Austria, where the fourth IFSC World Cup event of the season is currently underway.Climbing in front of 3,000 roaring fans, Team Japan absolutely dominated the final, but not in the way many would have expected. Indeed, current Boulder World Cup champion and world ranking number one Anraku Sorato only concluded in third place with two tops and three zones, failing to top the fourth and decisive boulder and winning his first World Cup bronze medal in the discipline.The top of the podium was taken by 24-year-old Amagasa Sohta, securing the first gold of his career with a three-top, three-zone performance that closed in spectacular fashion, as the climber from Kanagawa topped M4 in four attempts.Amagasa said: “I can’t believe it, it feels like a dream! My performance today was very good, almost perfect. Now I will skip Lead and focus on the event in Prague. Arigato!”Completing the all-Japanese podium. Narasaki Meichi won his second consecutive silver in Innsbruck, also closing the round with three tops and three zones, but also a higher number of attempts to top than Amagasa.Future Paris 2024 Olympian Toby Roberts of Great Britain and first-time final participant Elias Arriagada Krüger of Germany finished in fourth and fifth position. Roberts with two tops and two zones, Arriagada Krüger with one top and three zones.It is the third time that the Japanese national team have swept the men’s Boulder podium: first it happened in 2021, also in Innsbruck, with Ogata Yoshiyuki, Narasaki Tomoa, and Fujii Kokoro respectively taking gold, silver, and bronze. The following season, in Seoul, South Korea, Fujii won gold, Narasaki won silver, and Ogata won bronze.

CLIMBING - Int News 22 Jun, 2024

Sports Bulletin ReportParis (France): Paris 2024 excitement is gathering pace as thirty-four young climbers from the host nation France compete at a Test Event this weekend as part of the preparation ahead of the summer showpiece.Although there will be no spectators and only a simulation and operational test of the newly built competition venue, the youth athletes will be the first to compete on the Boulder, Lead, and Speed walls at the Le Bourget Sport Climbing Venue in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. The two days of competition serves as an opportunity to test and simulate Games time protocols and procedures from an operational perspective to ensure the venue readiness and has many key operational staff in attendance.From the field of play to technology, route setting to volunteers, all aspects of Climbing’s second Olympic appearance will be tested by the Paris 2024 Organizing Committee with the support of IFSC Vice-President Kobinata Toru and IFSC Paris 2024 Delegate Hazel Han. Among the officials in attendance integral to the Paris 2024 competition are Event Delegate Stanley Yeo, Jury President Tim Hatch and Head route setters Garrett Gregor and Martin Hammerer.Also in attendance will be French climber Oriane Bertone who has already secured her ticket to her home Games via the IFSC European Qualifier in Laval, France last year. Bertone attends on the invitation of the IOC as part of their “La Tournée des Sites” initiative to talk to invited dignitaries and will help promote the inspiration and legacy of the Games for the young competing athletes.IFSC Vice-President Kobinata said: “A Test Event is a vital part of the Olympic Games process. Our field of play and warm up areas were finished only a short time ago, and they look fantastic – a venue worthy of a world class event. Now it is time for some eager young athletes to help us check that everything is in place for August when the eyes of the world will be upon us. It is a great test of our venue and operations, but I am confident with the team we have everything will be successful.”

CLIMBING - Int News 13 Jun, 2024

Sports Bulletin ReportTorino (Italy): The LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games proposed to the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to add Para Climbing to the 2028 Paralympic Sports Program. With this proposal, LA28 becomes the first organizing committee in Games history to propose additional sports for both the Olympic and Paralympic Sports Programs. “LA28 is proud to propose adding Para Climbing to the Paralympic Sport Program, and to be the first organizing committee in history to propose a new sport for the Paralympic Games,” said LA28 Chief Athlete Officer Janet Evans. “We would like to thank the International Paralympic Committee for giving us the opportunity to add this exciting sport in 2028. We see this as a unique chance to give more athletes the ability to compete on the world’s biggest stage, while creating an expansive and elite adaptive sport program that exemplifies LA28’s commitment to elevating the Paralympic Movement.” “We are very excited about the announcement of LA28 and thank them for their proposal of the addition of Para Climbing to the Paralympic Sport Programme: it’s a wonderful recognition of the value of our great athletes – says Marco Scolaris, IFSC President. “We must wait now for the International Paralympic Committee’s Governing Board to vote on the proposal on June 26. When we were notified by the Los Angeles Organizing Committee, my first thought was for our athletes and their chance to show the world what they can do. My next was to some of our crazy visionaries who first believed in the magic of Para Climbing, together with us. I am talking about pioneers like the former Presidents of the Italian and French Federations, Ariano Amici and Pierre You. We all took our first ‘crazy’ step together in 2011 with Para Climbing’s debut at our World Championship and we hope that the next step will be the IPC confirmation.” 

CLIMBING - Int News 20 May, 2024

Sports Bulletin ReportShanghai (China): A trophy in their hands, and 50 points in their pockets: China’s Zhou Yafei and Indonesia’s Veddriq Leonardo are the winners of the Speed events in Shanghai, China.Zhou and Leonardo were the fastest and most consistent athletes on the wall, peaking at the right time and setting new personal bests in the two gold medal races: Zhou prevailed over Indonesia’s Rajiah Sallsabillah, stopping the clock at 6.54 seconds, against her rival’s 6.75. Leonardo, instead, won against home favourite Wu Peng of China, hitting the finish pad at 4.83 seconds – four tenths of a second away from the current world record. Wu placed second with 4.88.“I just performed like myself. I performed the way I do normally,” said Zhou. “I tried to focus on every single climb, on every single run I had to do today. I did feel nervous, but I tried to block out the noise that came from the spectators. I felt I just had to focus on myself. I just thought about the action, about the things I had to do.Then adding: “This was not the best level, because some athletes were not here. It felt like the second level. The level could be even higher."Leonardo said: “I am happy. I have to qualify, so this is the first step. In Speed, even though you did well in practice, it doesn’t guarantee you a good result in competition. I am competing among the best competitors and the best athletes in the world. The more good athletes there are in Speed Climbing, the better it is for the sport. I only focus on myself and my performance. I have a very good relationship with the rest of the Indonesian team. We are like family. We train together. In this competition each of us tries to do our best and it’s our responsibility to bring the country’s name to the world level. Competing against each other is not a problem.”Bronze in the women’s event went to Natalia Kalucka of Poland, who bested Niu Di of China with a 6.67-second performance. The men’s Speed podium was completed by Wang Xinshang of China, winner in 4.99 seconds of a tight race against Ukraine’s Yaroslav Tkach.

CLIMBING - Int News 05 May, 2024

Sports Bulletin ReportSalt Lake City (USA): An action-packed competition day in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, concluded with three gold medallists awarded inside the USA Climbing Training Center – Anraku Sorato of Japan in the men’s Boulder event, Emma Hunt of the USA in the women’s Speed event, and Samuel Watson, also of the USA, in the men’s Speed event.The first medal went to Japanese rising star Anraku, who dominated the Boulder final and stepped on the highest section of the podium for the fifth time in his young career – the second one in the discipline. Anraku took the lead right out of the gate, topping M1 in his second attempt and only missing the solution of the following M2, which none of his opponents managed to top either.Two more Japanese climbers competed in the final round, with Narasaki Meichi eventually landing next to Anraku on the podium, in silver medal position. The younger brother of Tomoa concluded his final with only one top in total – on M3 – but thanks to the fact that he flashed it, he was able to place ahead of Austria’s Jakob Schubert – third – and Japan’s Amagasa Sohta – fourth.All three climbers finished with one top and four zones, with attempts-to-top breaking the tie between Narasaki and Schubert, and attempts-to-zone doing the same between Schubert and Amagasa. The second Austrian climber participating in the final, Jan-Luca Posch, followed in fifth place, while Germany’s Yannick Flohé placed sixth. The night closed with Team USA pocketing two Speed World Cup golds with Emma Hunt and Samuel Watson.

CLIMBING - Int News 05 May, 2024

Pakistani cimber Naila Summits Makalu to set historic milestone
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: After a challenging climb through the night, Naila has achieved another historic milestone by successfully summiting Makalu, the 5th highest peak in the world at 8,485 meters, today (May 5) at approximately 9:35 am Nepal local time (8:50 am Pakistan time). This remarkable feat also makes her the first Pakistani woman to have summited this incredibly difficult mountain.Naila is grateful for all the prayers and wishes, and she gives special thanks to everyone. She also thanks Sherpa Gelgen Dai from Imagine Nepal, who has supported Naila every step of the way, making this achievement possible.This latest success highlights her exceptional endurance and determination. She now holds the record as the fastest Pakistani, both male and female, to have summited 11 of the 8,000-meter peaks, accomplished in under 3 years.

CLIMBING - Int News 06 Apr, 2024

Route to Paris Stops in Keqiao for Opening World Cup
Sports Bulletin ReportKeqiao (China): Just 109 days before the start of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Series 2024 are kicking off in Keqiao, China, with the first Boulder World Cup competition on Chinese territory since Wujiang 2019.Scheduled over three days, from 8 to 10 April, Keqiao 2024 is meant to be the first half of a double-header that will also include the World Cup Wujiang 2024, featuring Lead and Speed competitions and scheduled from 12 to 14 April.Of the 16 climbers that have already qualified for Paris 2024 in the two Boulder & Lead event, 10 are registered to compete in Keqiao, including Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Janja Garnbret and bronze medallist Jakob Schubert of Austria.Home favourite Zhang Yuetong, who secured her ticket to France at last year’s IFSC Asian Qualifer in Jakarta, Indonesia, will headline a big contingent of 14 Chinese athletes, including Olympian Pan Yufei, World Cup medallist Luo Zhilu, and a group of young first-time participants.Along with the support of the home crowd, Zhang and Pan will also have the advantage of having known the walls and its profiles at the Asian Games Hangzhou 2022, which hosted Sport Climbing competitions in the very same venue: the Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Climbing Center.

CLIMBING - Int News 07 Mar, 2024

IFSC: Guiyang, China to host 2024 World Youth Championships
Sports Bulletin ReportTorino (Italy): Seven years later, the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Youth World Championships will make its return to China, as Guiyang is set to be the second city in the country to host the event – the first one being Guangzhou in 2016.Kicking off on Thursday, 22 August, only a few days after the end of the Paris Olympics, the Youth Worlds are the largest IFSC event in the calendar by number of participating athletes, matching perfectly with the 4.3 million people that populates the Guiyang municipality. The schedule of the event, running until Saturday, 31 August, will feature competitions in all Climbing disciplines – Boulder, Lead, and Speed – and three age groups – Under 16, Under 18, and Under 20. At last year’s Youth World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Belgium’s Hannes Van Duysen added two accolades to the World Cup silver he won in Hachioji, Japan, only a few months earlier – gold in men’s U20 Lead, bronze in men’s U20 Boulder. Similarly, Sara Copar of Slovenia won the women’s U20 Lead gold medal and placed second in the women’s U20 Boulder event. “My experience at last year's Youth World Championships experience was awesome. I think the organisers did a great job and so did the routesetters. The routes and boulders were amazing. I was able to fight hard but also enjoy while climbing,” said Copar, born in 2005 and still eligible to compete at the 2024 edition. “Competing in such big competitions is always something special. There is no place for mistakes, and you really must show up and do your best. That is why those competitions can be stressful. But if the atmosphere is good and if you have good people around you who support you, everything is possible.“Everything was happening so fast and there was not much time to process what was happening in between the rounds. In the end, I achieved something, which still feels insane with people who really mean a lot to me.” Indeed, with the two medals won in Seoul, the Slovenian climber from Lasko brought her total medal count at the Youth Worlds to five golds and three silvers, all won between 2019 and 2023 in Boulder, Lead, and Combined. She concluded: “The best part outside of the competition was seeing all my friends from other countries again and meeting some new ones. We had so much fun there. We were exploring the city and trying new things together. It was an amazing experience.” 

CLIMBING - Int News 20 Feb, 2024

Palestine Admitted as Latest Member Federation of IFSC
Sports Bulletin ReportTorino (Italy): The Executive Board of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has voted to include the Palestine Social Sport Climbing Club Association (PCA) as the newest Member Federation of the organisation. The PCA is the 26th IFSC Member Federation in the Asian continent, and is led by President Hiba Shaheen, Vice President Tawfiq Alnejada, and Secretary General Taher Sharaf. The admission of the Palestinian Federation, along with the ones of Federations representing Bolivia, Guam, and Nigeria, will be ratified at the XXI IFSC General Assembly, taking place in Santiago, Chile, on 22 and 23 March. 

CLIMBING - Int News 11 Nov, 2023

Japan’s Anraku tops stellar first senior to confirm Paris ticket
Sports Bulletin ReportJakarta (Indonesia): Japan’s Anraku Sorato continued his stellar 2023 to secure a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in the men’s boulder and lead competitions while Indonesia with one man and one woman got a ticket to Paris in Boulder & Lead and one man and one woman in Speed from the Asian region after showing acceptable performance in the Paris 2024 Olympic qualification event.Men’s Boulder and Lead:Japan’s ANRAKU Sorato continued his stellar 2023 to secure a ticket to the Paris 2024 Olympic GamesThe first ever winner of the IFSC World Cup Boulder series and Lead series was the only climber to top the Lead route and all four BouldersThe 16-year-old scored 199.7pts only falling short of a perfect score by attempting Boulder 4 four times before toppingAnraku’s win means Japan has filled its allotted country quota of two men’s Olympic places with NARASAKI Tomoa securing a spot at the World Championships Bern 2023Tokyo 2020 Olympian PAN Yufei (CHN) was second overall on 164.9pts and was the only climber to challenge Anraku in the Lead roundLEE Dohyun (KOR) was second after the Boulder round but could not capitalise on the good form in the Lead – he finished in third with 132.5ptsOGATA Yoshiyuki (JPN) was fourth with 117.2pts, NARASAKI Meichi was fifth with 70.6pts, CHON Jongwon (KOR) was sixth with 66.8pts, Raviandi RAMADHAN (INA) was seventh with 57.7pts and SONG Yunchan (KOR) was eighth with 23.0ptsAnaku Sorato said: “I’m so happy to get the Olympic ticket. I was quite calm on the Boulders and I performed well. I didn’t know the scores in Lead and I don’t want to know them, I just focus on myself and getting to the top. Now I want a gold medal in Paris.”