American and Japanese athletes continued to dominate in Lead climbing at IFSC Youth World Championships Innsbruck, claiming every gold medal.
Youth A winner Shuta Tanaka of Japan was first to power past the steep mid-section of the male athletes’ route and stick the signature dyno before the upper panel. He put on a show for the Friday night crowd, waving for applause after the move. Runner-up Nathan Martin of France fell trying to complete the jump to the jug, leaving the final climb for Filip Schenk. Schenk’s feet spun off the wall midway up the route, and a strong fight from the young Italian was not enough for a spot on the podium. Mikel Asier Linacisoro Molina earned Spain a second medal in Lead climbing with a strong performance of his own.
On the finals route for the female athletes, beefy features at the middle of the route drained the energy out of the finalists, making the small undercling to start the upper panel even more challenging. Nolwenn Arc of France fell at the following move, and American Brooke Raboutou stormed into provisional first place after reaching the slopey penultimate hold. Bouldering champion Ashima Shiraishi ended the final by matching her teammate’s high point for gold, extending her winning streak at the IFSC Youth World Championships to a perfect six victories.
The Juniors final followed, bringing 12 male athletes and 8 female athletes up nearly the same lines, with a few modifications for the older climbers. Also, Bouldering champion, Claire Buhrfeind carried her rope to the same spot as her American teammates to stand atop the podium. Aika Tajima of Japan fell moving past the undercling for second place, and Heloïse Doumont of Belgium matched on the signature hold to round out the podium.
Taito Nakagami of Japan was first out on the finals route for the male athletes and fell two moves before the jump, which his compatriot Meichi Narasaki completed later on for second place. Kai Lightner of the United States fell just before the jump to take third place above Nakagami by one move. Last to climb, Bouldering champion Yoshiyuki Ogata pleased the crowd by rising past Narasaki’s high point for another Japan victory. The Lead climbing victories propelled Japan to first place in the medal table with 17 medals and the most gold (6), and the United States rose to second place in gold (5).
Six male athletes and six female athletes in Juniors will be competing in the Combined finals this weekend. Buhrfeind was the only athlete in Innsbruck to place first in Bouldering, Lead and Speed among athletes who competed in all three disciplines. She will climb with teammate and Lead finalist Margo Hayes and Tajima, as well as Bouldering finalists Iuliia Panteleeva of Russia and Austrian Laura Stöckler. Franziska Sterrer will also represent Austria. Male Lead finalists Narasaki, Ogata, Lightner and Yannick Flohé of Germany qualified, in addition to all-around standouts Kai Harada of Japan and William Bosi of Great Britain. With IFSC Youth World Championships Innsbruck serving as a major qualification event for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, 20 male athletes and 20 female Youth A athletes advanced to the Combined finals. Schenk and Shiraishi currently lead after their outstanding Bouldering and Lead performances.
Tune-in to the IFSC homepage to watch the LIVE streaming of every Bouldering, Lead and Speed round of the Combined finals on September 9-10. The schedule, Combined rankings and single discipline results, highlights and more can be found on the Innsbruck event page.