In the men’s semi-final boulder round of the Boulder & Lead discipline at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Bern, France and Japan are looking in the mood to book some tickets to Paris 2024.

The two nations occupy the top five spots going into the Lead round later this evening. As usual in 2023, Anraku Sorato is near the top of the rankings, and in this case its first three tops and 84.9 points.

Teammate Narasaki Tomoa is next also with three tops but 84.7 points because of more attempts. Brother Meichi is in fifth with two tops and 69.8 points.

The top French athlete is Paul Jenft who was pleased with his three tops and 84.3 points: “It was nice because I was really tired and the boulders were really long. It was hard to find power but I think I climbed pretty well and I’m happy to have reached three tops. The hardest part is done as the boulder is more powerful and I think if I climb well and make good decisions I can really high in the lead route.”

Mejdi Schalck is just 0.4 points behind Jenft in fourth on 83.9.

First out on the mat was USA’s Colin Duffy, and although recovering from a minor injury felt good on the wall: “The boulders were fun and I had a great time in front of the crowd. I loved every second of it. I’m feeling more confident now and my ankle is more healthy and this style of a boulder today I felt more confident on. I sprained my ankle before this competition so for a week or two before it started I didn’t really boulder at all. I’m getting more confident in my body now.”

Duffy is placed in ninth topping two routes to score 68.9.

Considering himself a boulder climber, something he has proven with a 2022 European title to his name, Austria’s Nicolai Uznik was disappointed in his personal performance of one top and 49.5.

Uznik said: “I’m not 100% satisfied. The first boulder was hard and I feel a couple of times on the last move which was a shame. The second was good, I did it quite fast and then on the third and fourth I just kind of lost my cool and id way too many useless attempts to try and stick the tricky move.

“It would have been nice to show a good performance as it’s my discipline, it’s going to be really hard now I think. I’m just going to try and give everything on the lead route and see what happens.”

Boulder world champion, France’s Mickael Mawem, sits in seventh overall topping two of the routes while Lead world champion, Austria’s Jakob Schubert, will be hoping a strong show in the discipline can pull him back into contention for the eight final spots. Schubert currently sits 18th with 44.8 points.

Full men’s Boulder & Lead results can be found here

230809 IFSC Media France and Japan looking good in mens Boulder LeadFrance's Paul Jenft in men's Boulder & Lead action
Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC

IFSC World Championships Bern 2023

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