FIRST 2022 YOUTH WORLDS MEDALS BAGGED IN BOULDER
The first medals of the 2022 IFSC Youth World Championships were claimed by Slovenia, Japan, Belgium and France as the Youth A and Junior Boulder competitions came to a close in Dallas, Texas, USA.
Twenty-four finalists fought for four sets of Youth Worlds medals at the Movement Climbing’s The Hill, with Japan stepping up to take five in total across the male and female categories.
Slovenia’s Sara Copar has been in imperious form throughout the Youth Worlds. Copar topped six Boulders in qualification to lead. She then topped three out of four problems in semis, again leading her competition. She carried on her form to again top every Boulder – flashing three - and with it secure the gold medal in the finals.
“I can’t believe it,” said Copar. “I came here to enjoy and make it to finals, maybe the podium. I didn’t know what to expect actually. But qualification was good. Then semis was good. Then the final was crazy, it all seemed to be happening so fast.
“I’m just so happy. I don’t care what is going on anywhere else, I just wanted to climb and enjoy myself and that’s what I did. Everything seemed to go to plan and now I’m so happy.”
Michika Nagashima of Japan topped three Boulders in the final to take silver ahead of Italy’s Alessia Mabboni who also topped three problems, but in more attempts than her Japanese rival.
The male Youth A final was dominated by the Japanese climbers involved. Ritsu Kayotani, like Copar, went in to the final in first position from the semis. He also continued his fine form topping all four Boulders to take the gold medal. Again, like Copar he flashed three finals Boulders.
Toby Roberts of Great Britain ran Kayotani close also topping four Boulders, but had to settle for silver just ahead of the Japanese climber Sorato Anraku in bronze who topped three.
In the Junior male category there were again two Japanese climbers, but it was Belgium’s Hannes Van Duysen who took the gold medal.
“It’s crazy,” said Van Duysen. “I feel so relieved as I felt a bit of pressure in the beginning. After the first route though I felt ok and it worked out really well.”
The Belgian has been on IFSC World Cup circuit this year and feels that experience has helped him to the top step of the Youth podium: “Doing World Cups I’ve had to train more and get smarter during simulations because of the level of competition. That has really motivated me to train harder and the extra training has showed.”
Zento Murashita claimed silver topping two Boulders and was joined by compatriot Junta Sekiguchi who also topped twice to finish behind Van Duysen.
Another nation also occupying two spots on a podium were France, but this time it was gold and silver in the Junior female category.
Zelia Avezou took gold topping four Boulders with teammate Selma Elhadj Mimoune one step behind in silver topping three – all of which she flashed.
There were home celebrations at the end of the day as USA’s Kylie Cullen made the podium in bronze stopping a French 1-2-3. France’s Agathe Calliet was hot on Cullen’s tail but the American kept hold of her position by flashing the final Boulder.
Before the medals were contested in the Youth A and Junior finals, the Youth B climbers had to navigate their way through semis for their shot at joining the list of 2022 Youth Worlds medallists. They will be the focus tomorrow as the Boulder category draws to a close before the Speed and Lead climbers take to the wall from Friday.
Top of semifinals:
Youth Male B - Augustine CHI, USA - 4T4z 5 4
Youth Female B – Lucy GARLICK, GBR - 4T4z 6 4
For full results click here