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.”
COMPETITION UNDERWAY AT ASIAN QUALIFIER-FOUR TO GO PARIS
Sports Bulletin ReportJakarta (Indonesia): Fifty-two men, Thirty-nine women, and just four tickets for Paris Olympics 2024. The next stop on the Road to Paris 2024 is the IFSC Asian Qualifier Jakarta which will give see four more climbers take a massive step closer to realising their dream of an Olympic appearance at next year’s summer showpiece.One men’s and one women’s qualifier in both the Boulder & Lead discipline and Speed disciplines will emerge from what will be a hotly contested battle at the newly built outdoor venue in the Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta, Indonesia.The Asian region already has four athletes confirmed to become Olympians with Japan’s Ai Mori and Narasaki Tomoa in the Boulder & Lead and Indonesia’s Dewi Made Rita Kusuma Dewi and China’s Long Jinbao in the Speed securing their spots at the IFSC World Championships in Bern in August, and more will join by the end of the week.A red-hot favourite in the men’s Boulder & Lead is Japan’s Anraku Sorato. The 16-year-old had the great Jakob Schubert of Austria singing his praises at Bern 2023 and he has been living up to the hype. Becoming the first ever IFSC World Cup Boulder series holder and Lead series holder in the same season, Anraku is currently on a run of three Lead World Cup golds and a Boulder & Lead win at the recent Asian Games.Joining Anraku on the podium in Hangzhou was China’s Tokyo 2020 Olympian Pan Yufei and South Korea’s Lee Dohyun, and they will once again be vying for the top step. Lee’s compatriot Chon Jongwon is also in action looking to make a second Olympic appearance and Japan’s Narasaki Meichi will be hoping to take the same flight as his brother Tomoa to the French capital next year.SCHEDULEThursday 9 Nov: Men’s and women’s Boulder & Lead qualificationFriday 10 Nov: Men’s and women’s Boulder & Lead semi-finalsSaturday 11 Nov: Men’s and women’s Boulder & Lead finalsSunday 12 Nov: Men’s and women’s Speed qualification and finals
NATALIA COMPLETES TEAM USA’S PAN AMERICAN GAMES SWEEP
Sports Bulletin ReportSantiago (Chile): Natalia Grossman won the USA's fourth Olympic quota at Santiago 2023, as the Team USA won four golds, four silver, and one bronze in Sport Climbing at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023. Most importantly, the US team pocketed four Olympic quota places out of four – the last one being won by Natalia Grossman in the women’s Boulder & Lead event.Grossman then carried her 84.3 points on to the decisive Lead phase, where she needed to reach the higher section of the wall to secure both the gold medal and the ticket to Paris 2024 – which she eventually did. Grossman won 88.1 more points and burst into tears as soon as she realised the outcome of her fantastic performance.Grossman said: “I feel just so grateful and proud of all the work I have put in. I changed a lot in this past couple of months, in my climbing and in my life, and to see it pay off feels really good.“I tend to run really warm when I’m climbing, for some reason, which is funny. So I always have fans on, and even though it was pretty cold tonight, I still had three fans to keep my hands cold. Although I’ve put some pants on for the Lead route, because it got a little chilly!”Seven points behind Grossman, in silver medal position, USA’s Brooke Raboutou climbed last on the Lead wall, probably knowing she could not take first place anymore. Still, she put together the best performance of the Lead phase, taking 96.0 points and adding them to the 69.4 she previously won on the Boulder wall, for a total of 165.4.Canada’s Alannah Yip also placed on the podium, crowning a good Pan Am Games campaign with a bronze medal. The experienced climber from Vancouver started her final round with a two-top performance on the Boulder wall, where she won 64.7 points, and followed up with a solid result on the Lead one, taking 64.0 more points and closing with 128.7.
IFSC UNFOLDS CLIMBING AND PARACLIMBING WORLD CUP SERIES
Sports Bulletin ReportTorino (Italy): The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) has unfolded the calendar of events for 2024, featuring nine World Cups, and three Paraclimbing World Cup stages, as the opening event will be a first for the IFSC World Cup Series, with the Chinese city of Shanghai organising the inaugural Boulder competition.The first stop will be in Shanghai, scheduled from 16 to 19 May, while the second and conclusive event will be organised in Budapest, Hungary, kicking-off on 20 June and concluding on 23 June – the Olympic Day.Spotlights will then move back to the IFSC World Cup Series 2024, with the event in Innsbruck, Austria, being the final chance for Olympians to compete in both Boulder and Lead at the same event. The lead up to Paris 2024 will be at its peak in July, when two French cities – Chamonix and Briançon – will organise the last two World Cups before the Olympic Games.The Olympic Qualifier Series will award the final set of quota places for the Olympic Games Paris 2024 – surely the most anticipated event of the season – which will open on 26 July and close on 11 August. Sport Climbing competitions are scheduled from 5 to 10 August.The second half of August, as usual, will see the yearly Youth World Championships take place in China. The exact dates and location will be communicated at a later stage.Koper, Slovenia, and Prague, Czech Republic, are going to be the host cities of the two World Cup events organised in September, respectively in the Lead and Boulder disciplines.Finally, for the first time ever, the closing event of the IFSC World Cup Series will see all six season trophies being awarded at the same time. The city of Seoul, South Korea, in fact, will host the ninth and conclusive stage of the Series, with competitions in all three disciplines taking place over a span of five days.Schedule (IFSC World Cup Series 2024):9 to 10 April, IFSC World Cup in Shanghai, China – Boulder;12 to 14 April, IFSC World Cup in Wujiang, China – Lead, Speed;3 to 5 May, IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA – Boulder, Speed;26 to 30 June, IFSC World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria – Boulder, Lead;12 to 14 July, IFSC World Cup in Chamonix, France – Lead, Speed;17 to 19 July, IFSC World Cup in Briançon, France – Lead, Speed;6 to 7 September, IFSC World Cup in Koper, Slovenia – Lead;20 to 22 September, IFSC World Cup in Prague, Czech Republic – Boulder; and2 to 6 October, IFSC World Cup in Seoul, South Korea – Boulder, Lead, Speed.Coming from one of the most successful seasons in terms of engagement and popularity, the Paraclimbing World Cup Series 2024 will comprise of three events, scheduled in Salt Lake City, Innsbruck, and a still to-be-defined location in France.Schedule (IFSC World Cup Series 2024):IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA – dates to be defined;24 to 25 June, IFSC Paraclimbing world Cup in Innsbruck, Austria; andIFSC Paraclimbing World Cup in France – dates and location to be defined.
Mori takes Asian Games gold medal to close out competition
Sports Bulletin ReportHangzhou (China): Sport Climbing at the 19th Asian Games came to a close with Japan’s Mori Ai taking the women’s Boulder & Lead title at the Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre under heavy rain.The final eight women who qualified from the semi-finals earlier in the day unfortunately couldn’t take to the mats for the final round as persistent rainfall caused the cancellation of the finale. That meant the standings after the semi-finals decided the final rankings.It meant Mori once again visited the top step of an international competition, but the young athlete just loves to climb and show the world what she can do: “I really wanted to climb the final. Qualification and semi-finals I was climbing well, qualification I maybe could have done a little better, I wanted to have a stronger performance. “I’m actually quite sad to win without climbing the final. Now I’ll go back home to Japan and get ready for next season.”Mori took gold with a semi-final score of 199.73, the same score as silver medallist Seo Chaehyun, but the tiebreaker was the qualification results in which Mori led.Just like Mori, a medal was bittersweet for Seo: “Honestly, I’m not that happy about this medal. I think I could have gone for gold in the final and earn the medal I deserved with my climbing. It’s not even about the medal, it’s disappointing to not get the challenge of the final round.”The next stop for Seo is the Asian Olympic qualification event in Jakarta, Indonesia, but despite the ending in Hangzhou, the South Korean climber has taken the positives to help her push for Paris 2024: “I think after this competition I am now good at this format. I worked a lot for these Games and I think it will work out in Jakarta. I really want to get a gold now more than ever.”Completing the podium with a bronze medal was Zhang Yuetong who gave the crowd and volunteers who persevered the wet conditions something to cheer on home soil at the medal presentation ceremony. Zhang posted a semi-final score of 175.73 for her medal.The other climbers who would have liked to have shown their medal winning potential were Japan’s Matsufuji Anon who finished in fourth, South Korea’s Sa Sol who finished fifth, China’s Luo Zhilu in sixth, Iran’s Elnaz Rekabi seventh and Kazakhstan’s Margarita Agambayeva eighth.
Asian Games 2023: Sports Climbing event in full swing in Hangzhou
Sports Bulletin ReportHangzhou (China): There was an eruption of sound at the Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre as hosts China claimed a golden double topping both the men’s and women’s Speed Relay at the 19th Asian Games. Making it into the finals in second place behind Indonesia in qualification, the men’s team of Wang Xinshang, Wu Peng and Zhang Liang came through a quarter-final against Thailand, a semi-final against Singapore and overcame the strong Indonesian trio in the final.With three Speed climbers comes three opportunities for false starts making tense competition in the Speed Relay, and it was the Indonesian team who succumb to the heart-breaking scenario of a false start on leg three in the gold medal match-up. It meant whilst Team China could celebrate gold, Leonardo Veddriq, Kiromal Katibin and Rahmad Adi Mulyono had to settle for silver.The beaten semi-finalists, South Korea and Singapore fought it out for bronze with Jung Yongjun, Lee Seungbeom and Lee Yongsu making the podium for South Korea. Some early slips from Team Singapore meant South Korea just had to keep it clean to beat Bin Mohamad Kamal Amar Hassan, Denzel Jit Yi Chua and Bing Qian Tan. The final times were 17.82 to South Korea and 23.16 to Singapore.Deng Lijuan, Niu Di and Zhang Shaoqin from China and Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi, Nurul Iqamah and Rajiah Sallsabillah from Indonesia were evenly matched throughout the competition, and even closer until the very last hold. A close race came down to a stutter at the very last jump to tap as an Indonesia slip gave the advantage to the host nation, which they happily took. The final race result was 20.92 seconds for China and 23.50 to Indonesia. The semi-final saw Choi Nawoo, Jeong Jimin and Noh Heeju of South Korea take on Assel Marlenova, Tamara Ulzhabeyeva and Adeliya Utesheva of Kazakhstan. Neither team had particularly clean runs with a Kazakhstan slip handing the initiative to South Korea, before they returned the favour to let their opponents back in the race.The final South Korean climber just managed to compose herself to bring home the bronze with a time of 26.90 compared to Kazakhstan’s 27.99.The previous night saw the individual honours handed out as Indonesia’s world champion Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi took gold and an Asian record and Iran’s Reza Alipour Shenazandifard defended his men’s crown at the Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre.Coming up against world record holder Veddriq Leonardo of Indonesia, Alipour Shenazandifard triumphed. In the final against home favourite Long Jinbao, Alipour Shenazandifard triumphed. While others around where stumbling he was mister consistent.The final saw the slowest time for Alipour Shenazandifard with a 5.30 enough to claim gold after Long fell, and with it the emotion, and roars, poured out. Long had to settle for silver.Leonardo had come very close to being eliminated in the first round of finals when a big slip saw him make a stunning comeback to by just 0.15 seconds. His luck ran out though in the semi-finals which set up the bronze medal match up with China’s Wu Peng whose false start put him in the small final.In qualification Leonardo set a new Asian Games record of 4.97. He lowered that in the small final to 4.95 to take bronze and overcome just a little some of the disappointing runs he experienced during the competition.Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi was the one to beat in Hangzhou after the Indonesian took the world title in Bern, Switzerland, in August. With that win Dewi also booked her place at the Olympic Games in Paris 2024.Now, the Indo climber has added another title with not only a win at the Asian Games, but a new Asian record to go with it in a whirlwind few months.Finishing top of qualification, Dewi progressed through the finals to set up a showdown with home favourite Deng Lijuan. In the final round, Dewi produced a 6.36 to take gold and the new Asian record, and she needed it as Deng herself lowered the previous record also with a 6.43. But, on this occasion, it was only quick enough for silver.In the small final there was another Indonesia-China shoot out for the bronze medal, and once again Indonesia triumphed as Rajiah Sallsabillah took advantage of a fall from Niu Di to stand with teammate Dewi on the podium.With the top four places going to Indonesia and the home nation China, all eyes will be on the draw for the Relay tomorrow as both nations will have eyes on gold when they add another climber to their roster and race for team glory.
SEKIGUCHI AND ELHADJ MIMOUNE TAKE U20 BOULDER WORLD TITLES
Sports Bulletin ReportSeoul (South Korea): The men’s and women’s U20 world champions were decided on day eight of the 2023 IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, as Japan’s Sekiguchi Junta finally got his gold and France’s Selma Elhadj Mimoune finished on a high.With the six best climbers advancing from the semi-finals earlier in the day, it was Elhadj Mimoune who showed her strength and skills to top all the four final round boulders in the women’s competition – the only climber to do so.The French athlete started strong by flashing the first two boulders, and doing so also started to create some separation from the field by topping the third. Only Slovenia’s Sara Copar could keep pace.On the final and decisive problem of the day however, Copar could only zone which gave Elhadj Mimoune the opportunity to secure gold with a top, an opportunity she would not pass up.Elhadj Mimoune said: “I am really happy. It’s my last competition in youth and I really wanted to have a good finish to take into the seniors. It was hard to deal with the pressure, there were a lot of tops in semis, a few less in finals, but I told myself that’s the game and let’s play. I’m just super happy.”Copar’s three from three tops was enough to take the silver medal, which was confirmed when she got the zone on the final boulder. It kept her ahead of Spain’s Iziar Martinez Almendros who took bronze with two tops and four zones and added to Copar’s U20 Lead title from earlier in the event.The other finalists all topped one boulder and topped all four with Japan’s Takeuchi Ai finishing in fourth, Italy’s Irina Daziano in fifth and Germany’s Anna Maria Apel in sixth.In the men’s competition, it was fourth time lucky for Sekiguchi as he claimed gold on the final boulder. The Japanese climber was the only finalist to top the problem and with it upgrade his previous bronze and silver Youth Worlds medals to finally stand atop the podium.Sekiguchi said: “It’s really unbelievable. It’s my fourth time of trying to win a Youth Worlds gold and I’ve finally done it, so it’s a real relief. I couldn’t be happier.”Falling just short of gold, Germany’s Yannick Nagel took silver with three tops and three zones – one behind the Japanese winner. He topped all of the first three problems but came unstuck at the final hurdle missing the zone.Joining Sekiguchi and Nagel on the podium was the U20 Lead world champion, Belgium’s Hannes Van Duysen. With two tops and four zones, the Belgian now has a 2023 Boulder bronze to add to his Youth Worlds tally.Also with two tops and four zones, Japan’s Tamiya Eito took more attempts so was just off the podium in fourth. Slovenia’s Lovro Crep was fifth and Spain’s Guillermo Peinado Franganillo was sixth, both topping one boulder.
Climbing: David wins first Youth Worlds Medal for New Zealand
Sports Bulletin ReportSeoul (South Korea): History was made at the IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships Seoul 2023 as Julian David claimed the first ever medal for New Zealand winning gold in the U20 men’s Speed competition.David became the first Youth Worlds medallist for his country coming through the qualification and finals on day seven at the Seoul Mountain Climbing & Culture Center as Japan’s Hayashi Karin claimed the women’s title.Finishing fifth in qualification, David started to find his feet in the finals going under six seconds twice. The final race was a more nervy affair as both David and USA’s Micah Feller stumbled, but it was the Kiwi climber who prevailed 9.33 to 9.64.David said: “I can’t believe it. It really came down to performing and putting it down on the day. I’ve lost my voice from all the screaming. It’s just incredible, I’m the champion of the world. It’s just incredible.”By reaching the final, Feller had guaranteed himself a medal, and it was to be a silver and the second step of the podium for the American this time around.In the small final, the beaten semi-finalists squared off for the bronze medal, and it was Great Britain’s Rafe Stokes who overcame Ukraine’s Hryhorii Ilchyshyn to join David and Feller at the medal ceremony.Despite a fall in qualification, Hayashi still went into the finals round in top spot. The Japanese climber then kept her cool throughout the round of eight, quarters and semis before racing Poland’s Maria Szwed for the gold medal.Hayashi tapped the finish pad at 7.92 compared to her rivals 8.67 and was suddenly overcome with emotion as her timer went green to signify her win, and her first Youth Worlds medal.Hayashi said: “I’m so happy. I got a bit emotional when I finished the final race, but they were happy tears. I’m just really happy.”Szwed had to settle for silver, but is yet another women’s polish Speed athlete to add to the long list of seniors for the future.The two climbers battling it out for bronze were USA’s Callie Close and Ukraine’s Daria Tkachova. Yet again it was the Ukrainian climber who just missed out on an U20 podium as Close triumphed 9.07 to 10.28.
Asian Games: Three men, and 2 women to participate in Wall Climbing
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: As many as 3 male and 2 female players will participate in the Wall Climbing fixture of the 19th Asian Games 2023, as the upcoming event was initially planned for the previous year 2022 in Hangzhou, China but had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the same city.President, Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) Abu Zafar Sadiq told this reporter that all players would visit China on their own outlays. Abu Zar Faiz, Zaheer Ahmed, and Fazal Wadood will compete in different two disciplines of climbing. Iqra Jillani, and Eman Janat will also represent Pakistan in the regional mini-Olympics Games while Rehmatullah and Najeeb Khan will accompany the players as officials.
IFSC News: Seventh Heaven for Japan at 2023 Youth Worlds
Sports Bulletin ReportSeoul (South Korea): The first medals of the IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships being held in Seoul, South Korea, were handed out with Japan staking their claim for top nation early. At the Seoul Mountain Climbing & Culture Center, Japan secured seven medals – five in the Under 16 Lead category and two in the Under 18. In the first finals of the 2023 competition, the Under 16 climbers took to the wall to start the medal rush for the Land of the Rising Sun, including a podium lockout in the men’s and a one-two in the women’s.The men’s final went to form with the top eight in semi-finals left unchanged in the final results. It meant Hamada Ryusei claimed gold with the only top of the final. Second to fifth position all fell reaching for that top hold that Hamada made.Nagamori Hareru and Toda Ryota of Japan, Jan Stipek of the Czech Republic and Luca Nundel of Germany all tied so countback to the semi-finals counted. It meant Nagamori got silver and Toda bronze with Stipek in fourth and Nundel fifth.On 34+, Oda was two moves ahead of teammate Mugishima Kohana who took silver, and ten ahead of Spain’s Geila Macia Martin who spoiled the Under 16 Japanese podium party.Macia Martin just edged out Austria’s Flora Oblasser by an attempt at hold 24. Ukraine’s Rafael Kazbekova was fifth ahead of Spain’s Julia Benach Zubero in sixth. Completing the final positions was Yamane Kaho of Japan in seventh and Analise Van Hoang of the USA in eighth. Moving onto the Under 18’s, it was third time lucky for France’s Meije Lerondel. Having twice taken Youth Worlds Lead silver in 2021 and 2022, the 2023 edition was finally time for her to stand on the top step of the women’s podium.Reaching hold 26+, Lerondel had an agonising wait for six more athletes to make their attempts at overhauling her. No one could.The closest to the newly crowned champion’s score was South Korea’s Kim Chaeyeong who was just a plus move behind, unable to use the noise of the crowd to gain that vital move. Kim still secured silver though ahead of Japan’s Mochizuki Moka who took bronze.Fourth place went to another Japanese climber, Yama Manami who was ahead of fifth placed Sarina Ghaffari from Iran and sixth placed Jennifer Eucharia Buckley from Spain.