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Climbing - Int News

CLIMBING - Int News 25 Aug, 2023

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 - Int News 24 Aug, 2023

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.

CLIMBING - Int News 23 Aug, 2023

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.   

CLIMBING - Int News 20 Aug, 2023

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. 

CLIMBING - Int News 07 Aug, 2023

Climbing News: Mori & Schubert lift World Championships titles
Sports Bulletin ReportBern (Switzerland): Mori Ai became the first Japanese climber to win a Lead World Championships title in the World Championship that concluded in Bern the capital city of Switzerland.WOMEN’S LEADMori Ai becomes the first Japanese climber to win a Lead World Championships title – man or womanSlovenia’s Janja Garnbret wins silver, her ninth World Championships medal in totalBoth Mori and Garnbret top the route, so the better semi-final performance hands Mori the winThe 2021 champion Seo Chaehyun (KOR) takes bronze4th – Mia Krampl (SLO), 5th – Brooke Raboutou (USA), 6th – Jessica Pilz (AUT), 7th – Laura Rogora (ITA), 8th – Nonaka Miho (JPN), 9th – Molly Thompson-Smith (GBR)Nine finalists, usually eight, as a tie for eighth in semi-finals put an extra climber throughMEN’S LEADAustria’s Jakob Schubert defends his Lead world title – his fourth in total, a record for menSchubert’s tenth World Championships gold in total and is the oldest world champion, man or womanAnraku Sorato (JPN) wins a silver medal on his senior debutAlexander Megos wins his third World Championships medal claiming bronze4th – Lee Dohyun (KOR), 5th – Yurikusa Ao (JPN), 6th - Paul Jenft (FRA), 7th – Sean Bailey (USA), 8th – Adam Ondra (CZE), 9th – Toby Roberts (GBR), 10th – Song Yunchan (KOR)Ten finalists, usually eight, as a three way tie for the eighth position extended the finals start list Mori Ai (JPN) – women’s Lead World Champion“Before climbing I told myself to just enjoy it, so it was an exciting time. I knew maybe Janja got a top, so I knew I had too as well. I was nervous before, but now I’m happy.”Jakob Schubert (GER) - men’s Lead World Champion“This field is so crazy strong, I knew I had to have the climb of my life to win this world championship title again. I feel like the Lead field is stronger than ever. The emotions are crazy right now.“It means so much to challenge one of the craziest talents we have in the sport with Anraku Sorato. He is such an amazing climber and if I can teach him a thing or two it would make me so proud. Maybe I will tell my kids about it, I don’t have any now of course, but I can say I taught him a little bit and now he wins everything. You see also Toby [Roberts], super strong young climbers, coming out on top tonight ahead of them means so much to me. “After being on the circuit for so long you know even better how to live these moments, and I’m living it right now. Winning in this arena is something you never forget.”

CLIMBING - Int News 31 Jul, 2023

Olympian Coxsey becomes part of the commentary line-up for Paris 2024
Sports Bulletin ReportTorino (Italy): The IFSC and Warner Bros. Discovery announced that the Olympian and IFSC Athlete’s Commission President Shauna Coxsey MBE will be part of the commentary line-up for the upcoming IFSC Climbing World Championships live on Eurosport and discovery+.With just under one year to go to the start of the Olympic Games Paris 2024, where Sport Climbing will be making its second appearance, Coxsey will add her unique Olympic insight commentating on the IFSC Climbing World Championships from 1-12 August – a key event on the road to Paris 2024.Coxsey will shadow the aspiring Olympians journey beginning with the premier event in Bern, Switzerland, through to the European qualifier in Laval, France, in October. In addition to separate Boulder, Lead and Speed competitions in Bern, climbers will also compete in a new Boulder & Lead (B&L) format that will be used at next year’s Olympic Games. In total, ten Paris 2024 qualification berths will be up for grabs in the Swiss capital – six in Boulder & Lead, four in Speed.Coxsey will join long-time IFSC commentator Matt Groom in the broadcast booth.“It is an honour and a privilege to be commentating on the climbers’ Olympic journey with Eurosport and the IFSC,” said Coxsey, whose previous IFSC broadcasting work was warmly received by the Climbing community. “The IFSC World Championships Bern 2023 is perfectly poised with a host of exciting new faces alongside the established names clicking into form, so I cannot wait to get behind the microphone with Matt Groom to commentate on who gets the first tickets to Paris 2024. “As an Olympian, I know how much these next 12 months will mean to the athletes, so I am looking forward to providing insights as the climbers battle it out against the wall for an Olympic place.”Great Britain’s most decorated Sport Climber, Coxsey is no stranger to IFSC events, having won the 2016 and 2017 Boulder World Cup seasons following back-to-back silver medals in 2014 and 2015. She retired in 2021 after realising her childhood dream of competing at the Olympic Games, which she did at Tokyo 2020, finishing 10th in the combined Lead, Boulder and Speed competition used for the sport’s Olympic debut.“Shauna’s knowledge, skills, and expertise will be of invaluable assistance to our viewers during the broadcasts,” said IFSC President Marco Scolaris. “Her appointment will provide fans with the deep insights of an expert climber and the inspirational, behind-the-scenes stories of an Olympian who accomplished everything she set out to in our sport.”Coxsey is also scheduled to provide commentary at the IFSC European Qualifier in Boulder & Lead in Laval, France, from 27-29 October. 

CLIMBING - Int News 18 Jul, 2023

Melbourne to host the IFSC Oceania Qualifier for Paris Olympics
A qualification event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games on November 24 to 26, 2023Sports Bulletin ReportMelbourne (Australia): Melbourne will host the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Oceania Qualifier 2023, a qualification event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, from 24 – 26 November this year.Located in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Urban Climb Blackburn will welcome climbers from the Oceania region in the Speed and Boulder & Lead disciplines for both men and women with Olympic qualification at stake.There will be four Paris 2024 spots available including, one men’s Speed, one women’s Speed, one men’s Boulder & Lead and one women’s Boulder & Lead.As an important qualifier, Melbourne was chosen as the ideal spot to host the event with its rich Olympic history as the first hosts of an Olympic Games staged in the Southern hemisphere in 1956.IFSC President Marco Scolaris said: “Melbourne is a perfect city to host such an important event for the region and on the road to Paris. It will be the second time that Australia has been part of our Olympic journey, and in cities with great historic links to the Games.“From the first Oceania qualifier for Tokyo 2020 in Sydney, and now Melbourne for Paris 2024, Australia has been with us every step of our Olympic journey so far. I look forward to an exciting event with our friends at Sport Climbing Australia and welcoming more athlete’s that will join us at our second Olympic competition.”

CLIMBING - Int News 07 Jul, 2023

IFSC News: World Cup Chamonix starts Chamonix, France
Sports Bulletin ReportChamonix (France): The IFSC World Cup 2023 series rolls on to the foot of Mont-Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, for another round of Lead and Speed Climbing for the IFSC World Cup Chamonix from 7 to 9 July.Making the short trip across the border from Villars, Switzerland, to the French mountain town, over 300 climbers in the two Climbing disciplines will once again battle it out for podium spots.Long Jianguo took his second successive Villars gold medal in Speed, and the Chinese climber is hoping to transfer a little of that Swiss magic into another podium performance the other side of the border.Defending Chamonix champion Long Jinbao will be pushing his teammate, as well as last week’s silver medallist Zhang Liang. With a strong squad you wouldn’t bet against another men’s Chinese medal.Expect fireworks in the men’s Speed when you also throw in USA’s Samuel Watson, Spain’s Erik Noya Cardona, Japan’s first ever men's Speed medallist from Villars Omasa Ryo and a few home nation athletes like Bassa Mawem to get the crowd going.On the women’s side, Poland’s Natalia Kalucka took her first ever World Cup gold last week, and a short time before that, gold at the European Games beating teammate and world record holder Aleksandra Miroslaw. Is a trio of golds on for Kalucka or can she be stopped?

CLIMBING - Int News 22 Jun, 2023

IFSC News: Villars to host Para-climbing World Cup 2023
Sports Bulletin ReportVillars (Switzerland):-The third and final IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup of the 2023 season will take place in Villars, Switzerland, from 23 to 24 June with 155 athletes from 21 nations aiming for a place on the podium.IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup Villars will pit athletes ranging from physical and visual impairments to range and power impairments against each other either looking to defend medals, go for a series clean sweep or take some new golden confidence forward into the summer showpiece.One women looking for a clean sweep in the AL2 in 2023 is world champion Lucie Jarrige of France who has once again been showing her class taking two golds in the two competitions, but hot on her heels is Australia’s Sarah Larcombe.Larcombe said: “Based on my results so far, my 2023 season is going pretty well. Two World Cups down, two silver medals. I haven’t always been super happy with my climbing so far this season despite good overall results, but I’m learning a lot and I’m taking away a lot to work on.”Despite sporting rivalries, climbing also has the sense of community and respect between the competitors: “I have a great friend and role model in Lucie Jarrige,” said Larcombe, “and it’s always fun trying to keep up with her. The routesetters this year are also clearly challenging us to step up our game, so that’s what I’m trying to do.”“Every comp my aim is to climb my hardest, be as present as possible, and have fun on the wall. This season I don’t think I’ve really been able to show the best of my climbing yet, so that’s one thing I hope I can do better in Villars. 

CLIMBING - Int News 19 Jun, 2023

FISC News: Slovenia’s Woman Janja Garnbret takes gold
Sports Bulletin ReportInnsbruck (Austria):- Slovenia’s lady Janja Garnbret lifted gold to do the Boulder and Lead double in Kletterzentrum Innsbruck, Austria in the FISC World Climbing Series. Six nations represented in eight climber women’s Lead final; two Slovenian, two USA, one Japanese, one South Korean, one French and one Austrian.Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret took gold to do the Boulder and Lead double in Innsbruck, who repeated the feat of 2021 when she also won Boulder and Lead gold at the IFSC World Cup Innsbruck. Mori Ai from Japan settled with silver medal. Home crowd pleased as Austrian Jessica Pilz won bronze, first World Cup medal since taking Lead silver in Kranj, Slovenia in 2019.Meanwhile, in the men’s competitions, 9 men contested Lead final due to a tie for eighth in semi-finals. Six nations represented with four climbers from Japan, one from Germany, one from Spain, one from Switzerland, one from France and one from Austria. Sascha Lehmann from Switzerland got gold by reaching hold 44+ while Both Lehmann and Germany’s Alexander Megos reach hold 44+ with semifinal result separating the two rivals.Janja Garnbret (SLO) - women's Lead gold medallist"I loved the route. It was incredible. Even during the observation I knew it was hard, but this is what we like. We like to show how we fight and what we train for, so this is exactly what we got and I enjoyed every minute of it."I’m incredibly grateful to win both the Boulder and Lead, even more grateful because I’m coming back from injury. I’ve never had an injury before so I had no experience or expectations and it’s even more amazing coming back because there were a lot of doubts, crying and just a lot of negative thoughts, so coming back on top I’m incredibly grateful."Jessica Pilz (AUT) - women's Lead bronze medallist"It was super nice to climb at home here. The crowd was amazing. I wasn’t too happy with my climbing, it was tough to stick the move and I wasn’t satisfied when I fell. I thought for sure the others would beat me, so it was a nice surprise for sure to be back on the podium, it’s definitely been a while."It’s great to be on the podium at home, it definitely means more than anywhere else. It feels really good."Sascha Lehmann (SUI) - men's Lead gold medallist"I knew I could climb well and I am a strong climber, but it’s a packed field, we saw that in Boulder with so many young athletes coming in. My Boulder season didn’t go that well so I hoped I could do better in Lead. I worked hard at Lead, but I wasn’t sure where I was at. I know I can perform on the big stage, and I did, so it feels amazing. "You always do a move and think it feels good in the warm-up, and the atmosphere here is great, but in the end when you go out to the route it’s not thinking anymore, it’s just climbing. Do your thing, stay calm, do the moves and perform well." Alexander Megos (GER) - men's Lead silver medallist"I knew I climbed well, but I didn't expected to be on the podium tonight. I think what was remarkable in this competition is that between the first and ninth climber there were only four moves, and nobody made a big mistake. In my mind, if I win a medal it's because I climbed better than the others, not because somebody else made a mistake, so I'm happy to cheer for all the other climbers once I'm done."The next generation is coming, and it's coming fast. Sorato is 16 and he did three rounds in Boulder, then three rounds in Lead, and he doesn't seem to be tired at all. His climbing style is crazy, I'm sure he will win many more medals in the future."Jakob Schubert (AUT) - men's Lead bronze medallist"Obviously it feels amazing having a podium, and having it here in Innsbruck. It's a great start for the Lead season, but also for myself. This one's always a very special World Cup, there is more pressure for sure, more nervousness than any other event, but it's also way more rewarding."Experience can still play an important role, especially in Lead, and I believe we, the old guys, can still compete with the young guns."