CANADA, CHILE, MEXICO AND THE USA ADVANCE TO THE MEN’S BOULDER & LEAD FINAL IN SANTIAGO
The men’s Boulder & Lead semi-final was the first competition round to be contested at the Pan American Games Santiago 2023, where Sport Climbing is making its very first appearance.
Athletes from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, the USA, and Venezuela took turns on the Boulder wall first – where the first 100 points were at stake – and then moving on to the Lead wall – where their final scores were decided.
Team Canada and Team USA both moved their entire selection of three athletes into the final round. American Jesse Grupper placed first with two scores above the 90-point margin – 99.8 and 92.1 – for a total of 191.9 points. His teammates Sean Bailey and Zach Galla respectively placed second with 164.2, and fifth with 133.8.
Grupper said: “I’m excited about how my Boulder round went, it was a super fun round, and I was really happy to be able to fight and give it my all. I like both disciplines pretty equally, but I haven’t performed as well on the Boulder scene, so coming into this event I really wanted to up my skills with Boulder and I continued to work on that.
“I found s really good gluten-free sushi spot, so I think I’m going to go back there before the final, and I’m also excited to see Santiago and experience the city a little bit.”
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Sean McColl, representing Canada, completed the top three with two solid performances: 84.7 and 68.1, totalising 152.8 points. Brothers Oscar and Victor Baudrand also made the cut, taking fourth position with 147.7, and sixth with 133.7.
“I haven’t done a Lead performance in a long time, so I wanted to prove myself that I could have a good Lead result as well. I was feeling good on the route, I just made a little mistake on one of the hard moves at the top, but I felt like I had a lot more to give on the wall,” commented Oscar Baudrand. “My expectations and goals are different, it was my expectation to make final, but my goal is to make it to the podium.”
“Now I’m going to support my teammates as much as possible, starting with Erica tonight in the women’s Speed event,” he added.
Home favourite Benjamin Vargas won the warmest applause from the crowd, concluding in seventh place with 120.2 points, mostly thanks to a very good result in the Boulder phase.
“I’m very excited, I really wanted to make final in this event. I’ve been preparing for this the entire season, so I’m super happy! My skin is not the best, so I’m going to rest before the final, and maybe do a little activation at the gym,” said Vargas. “I’m from a city north of Santiago, so my family and friends came here to see me, and I feel blessed and grateful for this.”
Also making the final party was Mexico’s Thor Villegas, who placed eighth with 114.5 points.
For the full results of the men’s Boulder & Lead semi-final click here.
Updates and news about the Climbing competitions will be available on the official website of the event, on the IFSC website, and on the Federation digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.
Benjamin Vargas carried the home team into the men's Boulder & Lead final at Santiago 2023
Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC