The first Asian stop of the 2015 IFSC World Cup took place in Chongqing this weekend. In Bouldering, all-time favourites managed to hold onto gold despite fierce competition from the rising stars, while the Speed competition saw a new World Record in the women’s category.
The municipality of Chongqing in Southwest China was once again in the spotlight this weekend, and the heat didn’t prevent the world’s best boulderers and speed climbers from putting on an impressive show in front of a large crowd.
The return of the Bouldering Queen
In Bouldering, Canadian all-rounder Sean McColl took the gold medal after completing all four problems in the Finals – a performance which places him third in the overall ranking. Rising stars Jongwon Chon of Korea and Tsukuru Hori of Japan placed second and third respectively, thus establishing themselves as forces to be reckoned with in competition climbing this season.
In the women’s field, all-time favourite Akiyo Noguchi secured gold after an almost flawless performance, having climbed all four problems of the Finals in only five attempts. She is now far ahead in the overall ranking, and with only three Bouldering World Cups left this season, it is a real question whether she can still be beaten. In the meantime, rising star Miho Nonaka of Japan secured second place just ahead of Great Britain’s Shauna Coxey, who needed one more attempt to complete a problem.
A new World Record and a coronation
In Speed, Qixin Zhong secured gold in front of his home crowd after a much-disputed Final against Ukrainian strongman Danyil Boldyrev. It is a coronation for the Chinese climber, who maintains his lead in the overall ranking and amps up his national hero status amongst the Chinese climbing community. Libor Hroza, who came very close to breaking the current World Record during Finals, completed the podium.
In the women’s category, Iuliia Kaplina established a new World Record during Qualifications at 7.56. She shattered her previous World Record, which she had set in Saanich (CAN), by as much as 0.18s, confirming her status as fastest female climber in the world. Yet, she was not able to climb as fast during Finals, and she placed third, while her teammate Mariia Krasavina took the gold medal after a breathtaking grand finale against Polish climber Edita Ropek.