ATTENTION TURNS TO BOULDER AFTER STUNNING SEOUL SPEED
Following the action-packed day of Speed records being smashed in South Korea, attention turned to Boulder at the IFSC World Cup Seoul 2023.
As the Speed medallists stood in front of the TV cameras the night before, a trickle of rain started to fall in Seoul. That trickle turned into a heavy downpour. So much so that the men’s Boulder qualification was postponed for a short time.
With no stopping in sight, and despite the valiant efforts of the South Korean clean-up crews, the decision was made to postpone the men’s qualification for the day.
The hours that passed saw clearer weather however, enough for the women to start their qualification on time.
With the 78 athletes split into two groups – Group A and Group B, the race to make the top 20 and book a semi-final place was on.
Israel’s Ayala Kerem led the way in Group A topping all five boulders, the only climber in either group to do so. But for Kerem, being the only climber to solve a route no one else could master was actually down to her performance the week before in Hachioji rather than her performance in Seoul: “I think the last boulder that a lot of the girls didn’t do, the last move is pretty scary and you have to commit.
“In Hachioji I was pretty disappointed in myself in the semi-finals because there was a commitment move, it wasn’t so hard, but I just couldn’t commit for some reason. When I came to this move I said to myself I am going to do it right and I am going to fully commit, and it worked out.”
Kerem shares top position with the leader in Group B, Germany’s Lucia Dörffel who topped four boulders.
Another climber taking lessons learned from Hachioji was Australis’s Oceania Mackenzie: “I came into this competition with a bit of vengeance as I wasn’t very happy with my performance in Hachioji, so I was excited to come out and try hard. It paid off and I had a good time.”
For Mackenzie, who sits in tied fifth, it’s the World Cups in quick succession that are helping her progress: “I haven’t done that many World Cup’s in a row so I have found it frustrating the last few years.
“I would do a competition, figure out what I needed to do better the next time, but then it’s such a long time between competitions to put it into practice. So, this event was pretty good as things are still fresh in my mind.”
With Hachioji ‘fresh in the mind’, all three medallists made the semi-finals and USA’s Brooke Raboutou, Germany’s Hannah Meul and Japan’s Matsufuji Anon can now start to think about doubling up on silverware at the start of the season.
Due to the men’s postponement, the men’s qualification will take place tomorrow morning at 10:00 (UTC+9:00) before both the men’s and women’s semi-finals at 18:00 (UTC+9:00).
Also due to the reschedule, the semi-finals will award the final rankings and medals for the IFSC World Cup Seoul 2023.
Full result's of women's Boulder qualification can be found here
News and updates about the events will be available on the IFSC website, and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and specifically for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.
Oceania Mackenzie of Australia in women's Boulder qualification action
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC