The three days of Climbing competition in Prague, Czech Republic, concluded with the women’s Boulder final, providing a spectacular ending to the fifth stage of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Series 2023.

France’s 18-year-old climber Oriane Bertone, seeded sixth at the end of the semi-final round, upset the entire field of competitors and took the first World Cup gold medal of her career. On her way to the top of the podium, Bertone flashed two out four boulders, also topping W1 at the second try, and concluding with three tops and four zones.

“I knew that if didn’t try boulder number four at my best, my coach would have killed me,” said Bertone, who eventually secured the top of the table by grabbing the zone on W4. “I knew I had to take the zone to win, and when I did, I saw my coaches go crazy, but I also wanted my competition to be complete, so I had to stay concentrated. It was amazing, one of the best feelings I ever had.

“I love Flavy, she’s my friend and my teammate, and I’m so happy to be on the podium with her!” she added, referring to bronze medal winner Flavy Cohaut, also of France.

Competing in her first Boulder final ever, Cohaut started off with a nervous zero on her first climb, then topping W2 and W3, and finishing third with two tops and three zones.

Team France’s gold-bronze combo adds up to the bronze won by Mejdi Schalck in the men’s Boulder event, making it an even more successful first part of the season for the French squad.

“It’s been a great event, and a great season,” said Nico Jaunel, coach of the French national team. “We have a young team and we work very hard to make these results possible.

“Today, with Janja Garnbret coming back, it was not easy, so we are very happy to have two athletes on the podium, very happy for them. It’s good to see that our hard work is paying off.”

Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, who made her return to competitions in Prague, after suffering a toe injury last February, won silver with the same numbers of tops and zones as Bertone, but a higher number of attempts to top – six, against Bertone’s three.

Differently from Bertone, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion did not solve W3, set on the slab section of the wall, while she easily flashed the final, physical problem.

“I knew that the last boulder was the hardest, but I also knew that I could not win anymore,” Garnbret said. “It was a type of boulder that I like, so I went out and flashed it, because I’m not the type of person that would give up in the middle of a competition. I think I have no regrets about this event.”

Just outside the podium, Nonaka Miho of Japan finished with one top and three zones, narrowly missing the chance to podium in the last problem, where she fell one move away from the top.

Serbia’s Stasa Gejo followed in fifth with two zones, and Japan’s second finalist – Ito Futaba – closed the ranking in sixth position, only managing to secure one zone.

For the complete results of the women’s Boulder event click here.

The IFSC World Cup Prague 2023 kicked off a three-week long series of events that will continue in Brixen, Italy, from 9 to 11 June, and Innsbruck, Austria, from 14 to 18 June.

News and updates about all IFSC events are available on the IFSC website, and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.

230604 IFSC News Bertone wins an emotional first ever World Cup gold in PragueTeam France celebrates the gold-bronze combo in the women's Boulder event in Prague, Czech Republic
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC

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