SCHUBERT, DUFFY AND NARASAKI ALL BOOK THEIR OLYMPIC RETURN
Austria’s Jakob Schubert takes his second gold medal and world title of Bern 2023, this time in the Boulder & Lead, and with it booked his return to the Olympic Games next year.
Already an Olympic medallist, Schubert will once again aim for another Games podium, this time at Paris 2024 and will be joined by returning Olympians Colin Duffy of the USA who took silver and Narasaki Tomoa of Japan who took bronze.
Schubert has always said his better discipline is his Lead climbing, and with a strong Boulder round which placed him in second overall, the odds were in the Austrian climber’s favour, especially given he already had the Lead world title in his pocket from earlier in the week.
After confirming his gold and Olympic ticket, Schubert said: “I don’t know. It’s so crazy. It kind of feels like the Lead, it all went so fast. Today was a big day, obviously I knew I had to do really well in Boulder to have a chance for that Olympic ticket and the Boulder round couldn’t have gone any better for me I think. My dream was to go into the Lead with a lead and then keep my nerves under control, and I think I did a really good job of doing that in the Lead route.
“I don’t think I actually realise what it means yet. Feels like there hasn’t been much time to think about it. I was watching the action and really hoping Sorato [Anraku] could show what he could do because he is such a good climber. I feel like he is the best combined climber right now, I had my day today, but we are definitely going to see him at the Olympics. For an older climber like me, now I can just focus and prepare for the Olympics, calm down a bit and now not do all the comps next year because I’m getting tired doing a lot of comps. So this has worked out perfectly.”
At the start of the semi-final round, Duffy was growing in confidence as last season’s form was starting to come back. In the final, that confidence grew even more when he finished the Boulder round in fourth and set a high target on the Lead wall.
As climbers after him fell, it was announced to the crowd that he had mathematically booked his spot, and his face was mix of shock and utter delight.
Duffy said: “It felt amazing. I was just honoured to be on the stage in the World Championships Boulder & Lead final. This is the most difficult and proud final I have ever made. I just wanted to go into today, enjoy my climbing and not care about the result. I was able to enjoy every second on the wall in the Boulder and stayed calm in the Lead route and I’m very happy to be standing here with another Olympic spot.”
Joining Schubert and Duffy in a second Olympic Games will be Narasaki, who had to wait until the very last climber had fallen before he was confirmed for a bronze medal and Paris 2024 ticket.
Both bitter and sweet for Narasaki as the climber who was last on the wall and fell to confirm his spot was his young teammate Anraku Sorato. Once it was confirmed though, Narasaki ran straight to the front of the stage to embrace his wife Akiyo Noguchi to share in the moment.
Narasaki said: “At first, I felt pressure, but I’ve been training, training, training and I believed in myself. My wife Akiyo is here, I think she felt more pressure than me, but I’m so happy to get the Olympic ticket in front of her.”
The 16-year-old Anraku finished fourth overall just ahead of Great Britain’s Toby Roberts in fifth. Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra was sixth, with South Korea’s Lee Dohyun in seventh and France’s Paul Jenft rounding out the final results in eighth.
Full men’s Boulder & Lead results can be found here
Men's Boulder & Lead podium at the IFSC Climbing World Championships
Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC