FRANCE'S MAWEM TAKES MEN'S BOULDER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLE AT BERN 2023
Mickael Mawem became the first French man to win a Boulder World Championship gold taking the title in Bern, Switzerland, on day four of the IFSC Climbing World Championships 2023.
Coming through semi-finals earlier in the day, Mawem continued his good form into the finals by flashing the first boulder. But so did his teammate Mejdi Schalck and Japan’s Anraku Sorato.
It was boulder three that helped separate the climbers though as the two French climbers learned the lessons from a similar problem at the Hachioji World Cup that the young Frenchman finally figured out after the competition.
Anraku failed to make the zone which not only allowed South Korea’s Lee Dohyun back into medal contention, but meant that on the final boulder, Mawem only had to zone to guarantee the gold.
With over a minute to spare, Mawem held the zone move on boulder four and smacked his knee in celebration knowing he was the world champion. He continued his attempt, missed, fell to the floor and then to his knees as the crowd went wild.
Mawem said: “It‘s a crazy moment. I’ve waited ten years for this. It was my goal to be the best in the world one time in my life. I’ve had a lot of failures, I’ve come back year after year. We have all these strong young guys now. I can’t believe it. It’s just crazy.
“My favourite moment was the end. Some people say just take pleasure in it, but I work a lot. Every day of the year. I haven’t taken a holiday for ten years. I say to everyone the pleasure will come when I win, and now I’ve won. Yeah the competition is cool, the setting is cool, but the end is the best. I just want to say thank you to all my family. My brother, my mother, my father.”
Schalck joined his teammate on the podium with two tops and four zones, and with it a personal best finish in a World Championships.
Lee completed the podium with yet another personal best finish in bronze. His two tops and three zones was enough to move him ahead of the impressive Anraku, who for one of the first times in 2023 showed he was human.
A fourth-place finish for Anraku was still a good showing for his debut at a senior World Championships.
The only person to top boulder four was Nicolai Uznik. The Austrian climber eventually finished in fifth position, one place ahead of the sixth placed climber, Japan’s Fujii Kokoro.
Full men’s Boulder results can be found here