GROSSMAN GRABS FIRST CAREER WIN IN SALT LAKE CITY, ONDRA TAKES SECOND GOLD IN A ROW
The 10-days Sport Climbing full immersion in Salt Lake City, USA, started with a bang, as home favourite Natalia Grossman climbed atop the World Cup podium for the very first time in her young career, topping the fourth, decisive boulder in the nick of time and besting France’s Oriane Bertone – who doubled the second place she nailed at last month’s World Cup in Meiringen, Switzerland.
19-year-old Grossman was the only athlete to top all four problems in the women’s Boulder final, while Bertone (16) signed off with 3 tops and 4 zones. The podium was completed by United States’ Brooke Raboutou (20), who battled all along the final with both of her rivals, but failed to solve the last boulder and closed with 3 tops and 3 zones.
“It’s a dream! I’m speechless!” said an emotional Grossman moments after the final. “It was so special to share this moment with my best friend Brooke. To be able to make the World Cup final together is something we have always dreamed of, and it’s so surreal, so exciting to have a crowd.”
Japan’s Miho Nonaka placed fourth, followed by Austria’s Jessica Pilz and Johanna Färber, who respectively finished in fifth and sixth position.
The women’s Boulder full results are available here.
In front of 2,500 masked-up excited Sport Climbing fans, the competition closed with the men’s Boulder event, where 28-year-old Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic managed to solve all four problems and added the 21st World Cup gold medal to his impressive collection. Previously, Ondra had also won the opening Boulder World Cup of the season in Meiringen.
It is the first time in four years that a male climber wins two consecutive Boulder World Cup golds – the last one being South Korea’s Chon Jongwon in Vail, USA, and Navi Mumbai, India, in June 2017.
“It was definitely unexpected,” commented Ondra. “But most importantly, it was amazing to climb in front of a huge crowd after two years, it felt surreal. I’m kind of trying to stay on the ground, because in terms of pressure this still feels like a children’s game compared to the Olympics. In Tokyo it will be way more stressful, way more difficult. I’ll keep training and we’ll see.”
France’s Mejdi Schalck (17) followed in second place with 3 tops and 4 zones, stepping on his first World Cup podium in only his third participation and giving France their second medal of the day. The bronze medal went to Austria’s Jakob Schubert with 3 tops and 3 zones.
Just outside of the medal positions, Japan’s Kokoro Fujii finished in fourth place, while Slovenia’s Anze Peharc finished fifth, and his teammate Gregor Vezonik closed in sixth position.
The men’s Boulder full results are available here.
The 2021 IFSC World Cup Series will continue next week with the IFSC Boulder and Speed World Cup, also taking place in Salt Lake City. News and updates about all IFSC competitions will be available on the IFSC website and on its social media profiles: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Women's Boulder gold medalist Natalia Grossman of the United States of America
Photo: Daniel Gajda/IFSC