The IFSC Youth World Championships concluded with the Combined final in In Youth A, a major qualification event for Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018. Out of 20 finalists per gender, 13 male and 13 female athletes qualified for selection to these Games, in accordance with the rules listed in the qualification system, to be announced after the confirmation from the National Olympic Committees.
Speed finals took place on Saturday and results were determined by time, with two heats per athlete. Georgiy Morozov of Russia was the fastest male athlete, posting the only time below seven seconds (6.92). French star Sam Avezou joined the handful of athletes scaling the 15-meter Speed wall within 8 seconds, a group that also included Cristian Dorigatti of Italy and Chinese teammates DiChong Huang and YuFei Pan. Among female athletes, their compatriot YiLing Song registered the lowest time (9.05). Aleksandra Kalucka of Poland and Russian teammates Elena Krasovskaia and Luiza Emeleva also stopped the timer in under than ten seconds.
The Combined finals concluded today with the next rounds in Bouldering and Lead. Most finalists flashed the first problem, leaving the remaining three problems to determine the results. Half of the athletes maintained friction on the volumes of M2 to the top, including Nathan Martin of France and Filip Schenk of Italy. Both athletes continued their streak of flashes on the next problems, sticking the one-handed dyno of M3 and keeping their composure on the walk across M4 for a perfect scorecard. Martin maintained an edge in the Combined with a better Speed performance. For the female athletes, again almost every athlete topped the first problem and multiple finalists fought past the ladder of blocks on F2. Brooke Raboutou and Ashima Shiraishi of the United States joined three other stars at three tops after flashing the following power problem. Only Austrian Sandra Lettner topped all four problems, showing a diverse set of strength and technique on the last problem to take the lead in the Combined. Valentina Aguado of Argentina was the only other athlete to top F4 and placed second in Bouldering.
The towering Lead wall in Innsbruck was the final challenge for the best Youth A sport climbing athletes in the world. Shuta Tanaka of Japan set a high point on the burly last route which no finalist could match, finishing sixth in the Combined results. Avezou marched to within a few holds of Tanaka’s mark, taking the provisional lead in the Combined. When Keita Dohi of Japan fell short, Schenk needed second place or better to win the Combined. He climbed strong to equal Avezou’s score, but a slower time (3.58 minutes compared to 3.20) bumped him down to third in Lead and second in the Combined, handing Avezou the crown. Petar Ivanov of Bulgaria rounded out the podium with quality performances in all three disciplines. All eyes were on Lettner in the female final. She maintained her lead in the Combined, falling just beneath the high point of her teammate Eva Maria Hammelmüller. Raboutou matched Lettner, but again time separated the athletes (4.04 minutes compared to 3.45) and secured the Combined victory for Lettner. Shiraishi closed the competition with one hand slipping off the top hold for first in Lead, second in Combined, and Raboutou rounded out the podium in third place.