INNSBRUCK CROWNS ANRAKU SORATO AS NEW BOULDER KING
The sixth and conclusive Boulder competition of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Series 2023 concluded at the Kletterzentrum in Innsbruck, Austria, where Lead will pick up starting from tomorrow morning.
Earning himself the headline of the night was Japanese rising start Anraku Sorato, who, at 16 years old, was able to pocket both his first World Cup gold medal, and the men’s Boulder 2023 title.
Sorato, who previously won silver at this year’s IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, climbed atop the podium with a performance made of three tops and three zones, but also being very close solve problem number three – a creative slab featuring a run-start and a 180° spin.
“When my climbing had finished after the final boulder I still wasn’t sure if I would win. Maybe a 50-50 chance, but I had done all I could and I couldn’t worry about the others and what they were going to do,” said the gold medallist.
“I got a fifth place in Hachioji and I was really happy but the second in Seoul didn’t go well and I had to such my emotions a bit. But for a first season overall it went very well.”
Following in silver-medal position was Japan’s Narasaki Meichi – younger brother of Olympian and multiple-medal winner Tomoa. Differently from Anraku, Narasaki managed to solve the slab – securing the top with only a couple of seconds left on the clock – but scored zero on boulder number two, eventually finishing with three tops, three zones, and four attempts to top more than his teammate.
Making his first appearance in a World Cup final round, Sam Avezou of France put the icing on his cake by winning bronze with two tops and two zones.
Avezou said: “There was no pressure on me as it was my first final. Just try and do the problems and have fun. And it was fun.
“I don’t really know how I’m feeling. I‘m just super happy. I’m happy the way I climbed my style of boulders and happy with the others, I couldn’t have done better. But maybe ask me in a few minutes how I feel.”
South Korea’s Chon Jongwon barely missed the podium, finishing in fourth position with two tops, two zones, and a higher number of attempts than Avezou.
Coming from first and fourth places in the semi-final round, respectively, Belgium’s Simon Lorenzi and Nicolas Collin closed in the bottom two positions. Collin concluded fifth with two tops and two zones, while Lorenzi took sixth place with no score on the board.
For the full results of the men’s Boulder event click here.
Making his night even more memorable, Anraku Sorato was also awarded with the men’s Boulder season trophy, having surpassed South Korea’s Lee Dohyun with the 1,000 points he took in Innsbruck. Lee eventually placed second, and Narasaki Tomoa followed in third place.
For the full table of the men’s Boulder World Cup 2023 click here.
The first Lead competition of the season is kicking off tomorrow with the men’s and women’s Lead qualification rounds, taking place simultaneously and starting at 8:00 (UTC+2:00). Semi-finals are scheduled to commence at 19:00, and they will be live streamed on the IFSC YouTube channel, with geographic restrictions applied. For more information about where to watch the IFSC World Cup Series 2023 please click here.
News and updates about the IFSC event 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.
The podium of the men's Boulder event in Innsbruck, Austria
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC