SEMI-FINAL SPOTS CONFIRMED AT IFSC WORLD CUP BRIXEN
IFSC World Cup Brixen 2023 got underway with the women’s Boulder qualification bathed in stunning sunshine to match the stunning scenery of its Northern Italian location.
With the 79 competing athletes split for qualification, Slovenia’s Julija Kruder topped group A with a tie for top spot in group B between Germany’s Hannah Meul and Serbia’s Stasa Gejo.
Kruder was one of only two athletes to top all five boulders, the other being Israel’s Ayala Kerem who was also in group A. Kerem progressed to the semi-finals in fourth position in the standings.
Sitting in seventh position is Switzerland’s Petra Klinger who used all her experience to flip some nervous energy on its head to her advantage: “It was really cool. It was stressful for me; I was a bit nervous in a way – but a good way this time. Despite the nerves I enjoyed the climbing.
“I think I was able to take the nerves and tension and use them in a positive way to enable me to climb relaxed, and that gave me energy and focus instead of affecting me in a negative way and piling on the pressure to climb well – that’s where the mistakes happen.”
The 2022 Brixen medallists Natalia Grossman of the USA and Luo Zhilu of China also made it through qualification sitting alongside each other in 11th position.
Fresh off a bronze medal at IFSC World Cup Prague last week, France’s Flavy Cohaut progressed in 17thposition.
The sole home nation representative through is Miriam Fogu, so tomorrow’s crowd no doubt will have a semi-final favourite to cheer on.
There were two countries who had athletes competing at an IFSC World Cup for the first time – El Salvador and Cambodia. Despite finishing low in the rankings, for the young climbers it wasn’t about position, it was about learning every aspect of the event and circuit.
Cambodia’s 17-year-old Vinnith Im said: “It was really exciting, but it was also scary as the climbers here are so strong. It’s not only my first World Cup, but it’s my first time in Italy as well. It’s so beautiful here in the mountains and the weather is nice so it’s even better.
“The climbing was hard for me, but it was important to be here and try. I’ve got so many different experiences already from my first big event.”
Full women's Boulder qualification results can be found here.
Ninety men took to the Brixen mats for qualification with young guns Anraku Sorato of Japan and last week's IFSC World Cup Prague winner Lee Dohyun of South Korea joint first.
Anraku was one of three men who topped all five boulders - all from group A. South Korea’s Chon Jongwon who progresses in joint third, and Japan’s Narasaki Meichi in joint fifth matched the feat.
Chon said: “It was a mixed qualification, I think. There were some tricky boulders, and there were some easy for me. This made it a bit of a risky round to make sure you could do enough to qualify.
“There’s also so much more experience in the groups now, and that is making it harder just to qualify. But I found my vibe and I am happy to make it to the next round.”
Also making it through the round and into the semi-finals was crowd favourite Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic and last year's Brixen medallist's Germany's Yannick Flohé, Great Britain's Maximillian Milne and Japan's Narasaki Tomoa.
Joining Milne and Narasaki, and making up nearly half of the semi-final group, Japan will be represented by five athletes and Great Britain represented by four.
Full men's Boulder qualification results can be found here
The IFSC World Cup Brixen continues tomorrow with the women's Boulder semi-finals at 11:00 (UTC+2) followed by finals at 20:00.
Switzerland's Petra Klinger in action at the IFSC World Cup Brixen 2023 women's Boulder qualification
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC