The Bouldering and Speed climbing seasons continued this weekend in Chongqing, the first stop on the 2018 China Tour. In the end, Indonesia, Japan and Russia all brought home three IFSC World Cup medals.
Under the early evening sun above the specially-designed Huayang Climbing Park in Chongqing, elite Bouldering athletes took to the stage for the final on Sunday. Akiyo Noguchi and Miho Nonaka of Japan started strong in the women’s final, hanging upside down to exit the roof beginning W1 and keeping it together for the sole tops. Stasa Gejo (SRB) was first to solve the W2 slab, executing precise footwork and a skip to score the zone point and leaping to the top hold with 20 seconds remaining. Noguchi followed suit on W2 and took a substantial lead by completing an exhausting 2-minute flash of an uncomfortable W3. When Nonaka topped in one attempt too many, Noguchi secured her first IFSC World Cup win since her last victory in Chongqing in 2015. Already first and second, Noguchi and Nonaka closed the round with pure power on W4 and two crowd-pleasing tops, improving their positioning in the season Bouldering rankings after three events. Gejo, European Bouldering champion and The World Games winner last year, reached her first IFSC World Cup podium by scoring three zone points.
After every male finalist flashed M1 and could not complete the opening dyno of M3 to score the zone point, the medal decisions came down to the second and fourth problems. Kokoro Fujii finished wrestling the volumes of M2 with 5 seconds remaining, and Sean McColl (CAN) and Jakob Schubert (AUT) flashed the problem. On the very physical last problem, Fujii secured first place in Chongqing and the third medal for Japan with a double-dyno finish. McColl placed second for his first medal of the 2018 season with a strong attempt on M4 to score the zone point. Aleksei Rubtsov (RUS) bumped Schubert off the podium with an exciting last move, winning bronze on zone points.
The Speed finals concluded the weekend of climbing in Chongqing. 2017 stars and Moscow standouts Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI), Vladislav Deulin (RUS), Anouck Jaubert (FRA) and Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) were all defeated before the semi-finals. In the women’s medal races, Aries Susanti Rahayu of Indonesia matched Elena Timofeeva (RUS) step-for-step in the big final and took the lead to win her first IFSC World Cup. In the small final, Indonesian teammate Puji Lestari secured her first IFSC World Cup podium after a fall from world champion Anna Tsyganova (RUS) in the small final.
In the men’s Speed final, JinXin Li advanced past both Alipourshenazandifar and Deulin in front of his home crowd and finished just shy of the podium. Speed legend Danyil Boldyrev (UKR) took the victory over Li in the small final by just over one tenth of a second, scoring one of the fastest times of the day at 5.73 seconds. After winning gold in Chongqing in 2016, Dmitrii Timofeev of Russia returned to the top of the podium by performing flawlessly in the final race. Aspar Jaelolo placed second and added a third medal for Indonesia as well.
Among Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athletes, YiLing Song climbed in Chongqing finals in front of her home crowd and finished in 13th place at her first IFSC Speed World Cup of the season. In Bouldering, Mao Nakamura of Japan advanced to her 2nd semi-final in three events, finishing in 20th place.