The fastest Speed climbing athletes in the world continued to set low times on Sunday at the first IFSC World Cup in Tai’an. Bassa Mawem of France and Sabri Sabri of Indonesia never stopped the clock above 6 seconds. Mawem won his first IFSC World Cup by racing 7 hundredths of a second faster in the big final, and Sabri stood on his first podium. In the small final, top-ranked Dmitrii Timofeev (RUS) returned to the podium after placing first last weekend in Chongqing, China, profiting from a false start by Aspar Jaelolo (INA).
Anouck Jaubert, 2017 season champion and winner in Moscow last month, returned to the top of the season rankings in Tai’an. Only once did she score a time above 8 seconds, and a flawless final race against Sari Agustina (INA) earned her a second gold medal in 2018. Agustina wore her first IFSC World Cup medal and Aries Susanti Rahayu made it three medals for Indonesia by outlasting Anna Brozek of Poland in the small final. Susanti Rahayu registered quick times all day, including 7.40 seconds in the opening race of the final.
The Bouldering final concluded the action in Tai’an, the 3rd Speed and 4th Bouldering event of the 2018 season. Every male finalist topped the dynamic first and third problems and couldn’t overcome the volumes on the second, leaving the final problem to decide the podium. The tiny crimps beginning M4 and two slippery spherical volumes concluding it provided a challenging and exciting finish. Only Alex Khazanov solved the sequence to seal the victory in his first final and secure Israel’s first IFSC World Cup medal. Jernej Kruder (SLO) flashed two problems to maintain the lead in the Bouldering season rankings, and Gregor Vezonik brings home a second medal for Slovenia by surpassing Rei Sugimoto (JPN) on countback to semi-finals.
4-time Bouldering season champion Akiyo Noguchi of Japan dominated in Chongqing last weekend and continued the excellent climbing in Tai’an. She flashed every problem in qualifications, never missed a top and required just five attempts to complete the final four problems and rise to first place in the season rankings. Her teammate and runner-up Miho Nonaka also topped every problem in finals: the W1 and W3 slabs, a powerful second problem and the difficult W4 which required both strength and technique to complete. Fanny Gibert (FRA) rounded out the podium with two tops, her first of 2018. Kyra Condie (USA) and Johanna Färber (AUT) competed in their first IFSC World Cup finals.
Among Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athletes, Keita Dohi continued to improve in the IFSC Bouldering World Cup, leading up to October. He topped 3 qualification problems and just missed the semi-finals cut. Seongmin Eom of Korea competed in his first IFSC World Cup this weekend, and YiLing Song continued to race well in front of her home crowd.
The complete results, highlights, replays and photos can be found on the Tai'an event page.