The bustling municipality of Chongqing welcomed a strong and fast group of elite sport climbing athletes to its Climbing Park for the first IFSC Speed World Cup and second IFSC Bouldering World Cup of 2017.
Winner at Chongqing last year, Iuliia Kaplina defended her title and stole the show on the Speed wall. The reigning season champion posted multiple times below 8 seconds, including a 7.46 to break her previous world record of 7.53. Former season champion Mariia Krasavina climbed consistent all weekend long and returned to the podium after missing last season. Alla Marenych, who last wore a medal at IFSC World Cup Nanjing 2016, rounded out the podium. The Bronze medal slipped away from Anna Tsyganova when she slipped on the last move in the small final, and Anouck Jaubert of France stumbled in the quarterfinal to finish 5th.
After climbing well in China during the final competitions last year, Vladislav Deulin returned in the same form and duly claimed Gold this time around, holding off his teammate Stanislav Kokorin for his first win. Danyil Boldyrev joined them on the podium, climbing to the top in 5.62 seconds during the small final against Bassa Mawem, nearly breaking his own world record for the men of 5.60 seconds. Legendary Chinese athlete Qixin Zhong, one of the favourites, came up just short in the first round of finals. Aleksandr Shikov was slightly faster and finished 5th.
Aleksei Rubtsov looked like a man on a mission at Chongqing. He flashed multiple problems, including the steep and powerful first two problems in finals to earn his second consecutive podium. 2016 season champion Tomoa Narasaki duplicated the feat in finals, rebounding nicely after missing the semi-finals cut at IFSC World Cup Meiringen. He finished 2nd after a countback to semi-finals, where he collected one more top than Rubtsov. Neither athlete could catch Korean star Jongwon Chon, who topped all four finals problems. The crowd roared when he caught the bonus hold after a slippery walk on the M3 slab – the only athlete to do so - and he completed the day by connecting all the burly moves of M4. Keita Watabe of Japan also topped M4 and finished 4th.
For the women, Janja Garnbret was nearly perfect this weekend at Chongqing. She flashed every problem in qualifications and topped all four problems in semi-finals and finals, including a physical W1 to start the last round – the only athlete to do so. Shauna Coxsey was unseated after claiming victory at Chongqing last year, but the reigning season champion from Great Britain still climbed superbly, powering up the slopers of W4 on her first attempt and finishing 2nd. Akiyo Noguchi of Japan rounded out the podium with three tops of her own, continuing more than a decade of impressive climbing at IFSC events. Alannah Yip became the first woman to climb in IFSC World Cup finals for Canada and finished 5th.
Watch the event highlight from the Olympic Channel!
Saturday 22nd April
09:45-13:30 Men Bouldering Qualification
15:00-18:00 Women Bouldering Qualification
Sunday 23rd April
09:30-11:30 Men and Women Bouldering Semi-Finals (LIVE)
13:00-14:00 Men and Women Speed Qualifications
15:00-16:00 Men and Women Speed Finals (LIVE)
18:00-19:30 Men and Women Bouldering Finals (LIVE)
20:00 Awarding Ceremony (LIVE)