The 2023 IFSC World Cup Series kicks off in Hachioji, Japan, this weekend as competitors from around the world compete for the first World Cup medals of the year.

Taking place from 21 to 23 April, 171 athletes – 95 male and 76 female – representing 40 countries and territories will battle it out in Boulder at the Esforta Arena Hachioji – the venue of the IFSC World Championships in 2019.

Looking through the start list of competitors, Natalia Grossman of the USA immediately leaps from the page with a run of five consecutive wins in the 2022 Boulder World Cup competitions – only Slovenian Janja Garnbret beat the American last season at the opener in Meiringen, Switzerland.

Grossman is joined by a strong American contingent that includes young gun Anastasia Sanders, the 2022 and 2021 Youth Worlds champion, and Olympian Brooke Raboutou.

Germany’s Hannah Meul finished the 2022 Boulder season strongly with two Boulder silver medals in Brixen, Italy, and Innsbruck, Austria, and will hope the run of medals continues.

While Grossman dominated the women’s Boulder podium last season, the men’s was totally different with six different gold medallists from the six competitions.

Japan was well represented throughout the Boulder season with Narasaki Tomoa and Ogata Yoshiyuki both picking up a full set of gold, silver and bronze medals, and are part of a large Japanese contingent of 12 climbers in the men’s event.

European Boulder champion Nicolai Uznik of Austria, Olympic champion Alberto Ginés López of Spain, and Youth Worlds champion Hannes Van Duysen are all in Hachoiji to see if they can add to their titles and begin the year on a high.

From athletes with plenty of World Cup experience under their belts, to some with none. While there is a host of new young climbers taking their first steps in World Cup competitions, Pilipinas Climbing have brought three World Cup newbies for the 2023 kick off.

Iman Mora, 34, and John Joseph Veloria, 30, make their World Cup debuts in the men’s Boulder with teammate Nicole Liana Mora, 32, making hers in the women’s – all proving age is just a number.

230420 IFSC News Hachioji set to host IFSC World Cup Series 2023 openerFujii Kokoro competes in the men's Boulder event at last year's IFSC World Cup Seoul in Seoul, South Korea
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

IFSC World Cup Series 2023

© 2019 ifsc-climbing.org    All Rights Reserved