MEJDI SCHALCK TAKES BOULDER GOLD IN THE DESERT NIGHT
The opening competition day of the NEOM International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Masters has crowned French talent Mejdi Schalck with the men’s Boulder gold medal, finishing ahead of Latvia’s Edvards Gruzitis and Japan’s Ritsu Kayotani.
Schalck and Gruzutis ended up having the exact same number of tops and zones at the end of the final – two and four – but the 19-year-old from Riga eventually collected a higher number of attempts to top, thus finishing second.
“It’s been crazy to climb here, I loved it,” said Schalck shortly before the podium. “I’m very happy with my performance tonight. It was tough, the boulders were really long, so it was hard to do them on the second try if the first one failed.
“The setting was great, the venue was great, and the crowd was great. Everything felt perfect. I didn’t feel so much pressure, I enjoyed it a lot.”
17-year-old Kayotani completed the podium in third position with one top and three zones.
The three medallists were the only climbers who earned themselves the right to attempt at boulder number four, as the innovative competition rules foresaw the cut of the bottom three athletes after the third problem. On top of that, there was no isolation, the climbers had the chance to see the problems in advance, and they only had two minutes each to climb the boulders.
Schalck’s teammates Mathieu Ternant and Manuel Cornu concluded in fourth and fifth position respectively, while Austria’s Jan-Luca Posch had to withdraw from the final round after M1 because of a shoulder injury, closing in sixth place.
For the complete results of the men's Boulder event click here.
The NEOM IFSC Masters will continue tomorrow with the women’s Boulder event: semi-final is scheduled at 15:00 (UTC+3:00), and final at 19:00.
The NEOM IFSC Masters will be live streamed on the IFSC YouTube channel, on Eurosport and Discovery Plus. News and updates about the all IFSC events will be available on the IFSC website, and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.
L/R: Edvards Gruzitis of Latvia, Mejdi Schalck of France, Ritsu Kayotani of Japan