Tickets were sold out and fans were waiting outside the entrance of the Esforta Arena Hachioji on Sunday morning for the opening of the fourth IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji-Tokyo, Japan. In the end, two regular finalists won Gold, and Japanese athletes delighted with many strong performances.
The women’s final was filled with star athletes, including 2016 season champion Shauna Coxsey of Great Britain, who topped the last problem in semi-finals to make the cut. A dynamic two-hand dyno kicked-off the grand finale, with a technical finish on dual-texture holds. Every female athlete flashed the problem, leaving the podium placements to be decided by the next three problems. Lead world champion Janja Garnbret and Japan sport climbing legend Akiyo Noguchi took an early lead on W2, the only athletes to finish the final lunge from a miniscule foothold. The beginning was most challenging on W3, with a big jump from an awkward starting position. Noguchi’s teammate Miho Nonaka wowed the crowd as the first climber to solve the move, but Garnbret and Noguchi soon followed suit. On the powerful last problem, Nonaka bumped Coxsey off the podium with a quick top, and Noguchi snagged the lead from Garnbret with a flash of her own. The 18-year-old Slovenian was last to climb and needed a top in five attempts or less to win, and she secured the glory with a smooth final flash, completing a clean sweep of every problem at Hachioji-Tokyo.
All male finalists put on an inspiring show of hard work, including Taisei Ishimatsu, who today climbed in his first IFSC World Cup finals. Japan teammate Tomoa Narasaki excited their home crowd with the only top of a technical M1, and he continued the momentum on M2 and M3. Russian Aleksei Rubtsov and Nanjing winner Keita Watabe put on the pressure with two tops of their own, conquering the tiny crimps before the finishing holds. The podium placements again came down to the last problem, making for a thrilling show at Hachioji-Tokyo. A top from Narasaki would have secured first place, but he could not link together the final powerful moves. Rubtsov needed a top in three attempts or less to overtake the reigning season champion, and he duly did so with confidence and strength for Gold. Watabe gave everything but couldn’t top and finished 3rd.
Watch the even highlight from the Olympic Channel!
Saturday 06th May
10:00-13:05 Women Qualification
15:00-19:25 Men Qualification
Sunday 07th May (LIVE)
09:00-11:15 Men and Women Semi-Finals
14:30-15:50 Women Finals
15:50-17:10 Men Finals
17:30 Awarding Ceremony