It was a bouldering competition as all climbing fans could dream: The IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Millau was marked by quite some challenging boulder problems and many turnarounds in the ranking lists. High-level climbing was shown from the start – with the result that top boulderers like Momoka Oda, Melissa Le Neve, Sean McColl or Jakob Schubert already dropped out in the semi-finals.
Second stage, second victory for Anna Stöhr
Last year’s Overall Bouldering World Cup winner Anna Stöhr was the lowest to qualify in the women’s final. But with a great performance in the final round the Austrian double world champion worked her way up and went head to head with Britain’s youngster Shauna Coxsey and Akiyo Noguchi from Japan, second and third after the semi-finals. In the end one attempt at the last boulder problem made the decision — gold number two for Anna Stöhr this season, silver and bronze for Shauna Coxsey and Akiyo Noguchi!
First competition, first victory for Kilian Fischhuber
In the men’s competition reigning world champion Dmitrii Sharafutdinov led the field after the semi-finals in front of surprisingly strong Jorg Verhoeven (made his first Bouldering final since 2008) and Bouldering World Cup winner 2012, Rustam Gelmanov. But in the finals Kilian Fischhuber, 5th after the semis, got into his stride: In his first competition of the season Austria’s fivefold Bouldering champion was the only one to top out on three final boulder problems and so walked away with the gold medal. Places two and three went to Guillaume Glairon Mondet who gained three ranks from the semi-finals and Netherland’s Jorg Verhoeven.
After this great competition weekend in France the IFSC Bouldering World Cup is moving on to Austria: Kitzbühel will be the venue of the next World Cup stop on April 26-27!
Disclaimer: I took this text from the IFSC website, but, though all of this is true concerning the performance of the athletes and most sport-related aspects, it’s worth noticing that some issues of this comp were not even up to the standards of small regional events in most countries! Hopefully the IFSC will enforce these standards better for future competitions.