SEKIGUCHI AND ELHADJ MIMOUNE TAKE U20 BOULDER WORLD TITLES
The men’s and women’s U20 world champions were decided on day eight of the 2023 IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships in Seoul, South Korea, as Japan’s Sekiguchi Junta finally got his gold and France’s Selma Elhadj Mimoune finished on a high.
With the six best climbers advancing from the semi-finals earlier in the day, it was Elhadj Mimoune who showed her strength and skills to top all the four final round boulders in the women’s competition – the only climber to do so.
The French athlete started strong by flashing the first two boulders, and doing so also started to create some separation from the field by topping the third. Only Slovenia’s Sara Copar could keep pace.
On the final and decisive problem of the day however, Copar could only zone which gave Elhadj Mimoune the opportunity to secure gold with a top, an opportunity she would not pass up.
Elhadj Mimoune said: “I am really happy. It’s my last competition in youth and I really wanted to have a good finish to take into the seniors. It was hard to deal with the pressure, there were a lot of tops in semis, a few less in finals, but I told myself that’s the game and let’s play. I’m just super happy.”
Copar’s three from three tops was enough to take the silver medal, which was confirmed when she got the zone on the final boulder. It kept her ahead of Spain’s Iziar Martinez Almendros who took bronze with two tops and four zones and added to Copar’s U20 Lead title from earlier in the event.
The other finalists all topped one boulder and topped all four with Japan’s Takeuchi Ai finishing in fourth, Italy’s Irina Daziano in fifth and Germany’s Anna Maria Apel in sixth.
Full U20 women’s Boulder results can be found here
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
In the men’s competition, it was fourth time lucky for Sekiguchi as he claimed gold on the final boulder. The Japanese climber was the only finalist to top the problem and with it upgrade his previous bronze and silver Youth Worlds medals to finally stand atop the podium.
Sekiguchi said: “It’s really unbelievable. It’s my fourth time of trying to win a Youth Worlds gold and I’ve finally done it, so it’s a real relief. I couldn’t be happier.”
Falling just short of gold, Germany’s Yannick Nagel took silver with three tops and three zones – one behind the Japanese winner. He topped all of the first three problems but came unstuck at the final hurdle missing the zone.
Joining Sekiguchi and Nagel on the podium was the U20 Lead world champion, Belgium’s Hannes Van Duysen. With two tops and four zones, the Belgian now has a 2023 Boulder bronze to add to his Youth Worlds tally.
Also with two tops and four zones, Japan’s Tamiya Eito took more attempts so was just off the podium in fourth. Slovenia’s Lovro Crep was fifth and Spain’s Guillermo Peinado Franganillo was sixth, both topping one boulder.
Full U20 men’s Boulder results can be found here
The 2023 Youth Worlds continues tomorrow with the finals of the men’s and women’s U18 Speed competition and the U16 Boulder qualifications rounds.
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC