6 months after the final IFSC Speed World Cup in Xiamen, China, the fastest Speed climbing athletes in the world went head-to-head again this weekend in Moscow. Indonesia and Russia excelled in Speed qualifications, sending no less than 20 athletes to finals altogether. 2017 season champion Anouck Jaubert of France faced-off in the gold medal race against long-time rival Iuliia Kaplina (RUS), competing in front of her home crowd. A false start handed Jaubert the victory, and she maintained composure during the final run to tie the women’s Speed climbing world record (7.32 seconds) set by Kaplina last year at The World Games in Wroclaw. Elena Timofeeva (RUS) won her first IFSC World Cup medal, profiting in the small final on a slip from Aries Susanti Rahayu (INA), who clocked a fast time of 7.39 seconds in the quarterfinal.
In the men’s Speed final, 2017 season runner-up Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI) continued to race quickly in the 2018 season opener, approaching his world record (5.48 seconds) and scoring only one time above 6 seconds. He won gold in the big final over 2017 season champion Vladislav Deulin, who made it 3 medals for Russia in Moscow. Veddriq Leonardo (INA) bested teammate Hinayah Muhammad on a false start to win a bronze medal on Sunday at his first IFSC World Cup.
Japan and Slovenia dominated in Bouldering finals on Sunday evening, claiming all the medals in the grand finale in Moscow. Tomoa Narasaki (JPN), 2nd at the first IFSC Bouldering World Cup of 2018 in Meiringen, was the only male finalist to top all four problems, including a flash of a powerful second set. The reigning Combined season champion and Bouldering world champion last won gold in the IFSC World Cup series in 2016 (Munich). Meiringen winner Jernej Kruder (SLO) was the first athlete to complete a top in finals, solving the barn-door swing of the opening problem and flashing the last two problems. Kruder’s Slovenian teammate, Gregor Vezonik, flashed the challenging steep final set for his first IFSC World Cup medal. Russia’s Aleksei Rubtsov also climbed well in Moscow, smoothly completing the jump on the third problem for 5th place.
Janja Garnbret (SLO), Petra Klingler (SUI) and Miho Nonaka (JPN) led the way on the first three problems: the lines of crimps on the opening slab, the multi-move dyno of the second problem and the physical third sequence. The last problem featured a showdown between Nonaka, winner in Meiringen, and Garnbret, the 2017 Combined season champion. Nonaka made the opening leap and successfully wrestled up the next volumes on her first attempt, requiring a flash from Garnbret to tie in finals and force a countback to her leading semi-final score. With fans in Moscow and around the world watching, Garnbret maintained her composure and completed the top on her first attempt for the victory. Akiyo Noguchi (JPN) also quickly solved the fourth problem to bump Klingler off the podium by top attempts.
Aleksandra Kalucka of Poland registered an impressive time of 7.91 seconds in Speed qualifications, the first glimpse of Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athletes in the discipline this year. Elena Krasovskaia of Russia also climbed strong, topping 3 problems in Bouldering qualifications on Saturday.