JAPAN HAVE WUJIANG WORLD CUP MEDAL ODDS IN THEIR FAVOUR
Japan will once again dominate an IFSC World Cup Lead final as five men and four women make up the eights of IFSC World Cup Wujiang at the Fenhu Culture and Sports Center.
The familiar names of Anraku Sorato and Mori Ai lead the way in their respective competitions, both registering semi-finals tops to progress to the finals.
Also topping the women’s route was Tanii Natsuki who follows teammate Mori in second position. Both are ahead of World Cup Chamonix winner Kim Jain of South Korea who reached hold 34.
Touching the same point, Austria’s Jessica Pilz is fourth ahead of the other two Japanese finalists – Ito Futaba in fifth and Nonaka Miho in sixth.
Nonaka said: “I got pumped pretty early to be honest so I didn’t think that I was going to go as high, but I’m happy. In the qualification round it was really cold and I got good friction, but today it’s hot in here and I have sweaty hands so I have to grab really hard on every hold so that made me pumped.
“I’m glad I have the rest of the day today and most of tomorrow to recover so I’m hoping to recover enough to go again and fight one more time.”
From position five to eight, all athletes reached hold 28+ with Zhang Yuetong giving the home crowd something to cheer in seventh and France’s Manon Hily in eighth.
Full Lead women’s results can be found here
Just like the women there is a Japanese one-two with both men topping the semi-final route. Anraku leads ahead of teammate Homma Taisei.
South Korea’s Song Yunchan is third reaching hold 42+ ahead of two climbers who reached hold 38+ - Switzerland’s Sascha Lehmann in fourth and Yurikusa Ao in fifth.
Nicolas Collin of Belgium produced a personal best finish by reaching hold 37+ and holding onto the sixth position to make the final beating his previous best of tenth overall.
Collin said: “It was pretty cool. I was lucky to find a good rest position in the middle of the route. I was super pumped and I could recover with the rest so I was happy to find this nice trick. After that I put up a good fight and I was super happy.
“I knew it was a good run, but you never know if it is going to be enough as it totally depends on how the others after you climb. The good thing was it was a tricky route so I thought it was possible for some to make some mistakes and I could make the final.
“Hopefully for the final I can find another nice trick, put up a good fight, but also enjoy the moment.”
On 34+, Japan’s Omata Shion was seventh and teammate Ogata Yoshiyuki eighth to complete the final lineup.
Full Lead men’s results can be found here
The finals will take place tomorrow, the final day of the 2023 IFSC World Cup series, at 19:00 (UTC+8:00) where the event and Lead series winners will be crowned.
Nonaka Miho (JPN) in IFSC World Cup Wujiang women's Lead semi-finals action
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC