JESSE GRUPPER’S COMEBACK ON THE LEAD WALL IS WORTH A TRIP TO PARIS
The Pan American Games Santiago 2023 lived another exciting night at Parque Cerrillo, where Jesse Grupper of the USA won gold in the men’s Boulder & Lead event, and secured a ticket to the Paris Olympics.
Grupper, who was ranked fourth at the end of the Boulder phase with 69.4 points, put up an incredible show on the Lead wall, cruising through the initial powerful sections, making a good use of time in the mid-part of the route, and only falling once he got the upper part of the route. The 27-year-old eventually finished with 161.5 points.
Grupper said: “It feels unreal, for sure, it’s an incredible moment for me. I’ve dreamt about this since I was a little kid, and it is so meaningful to see it through to fruition and have it actually happen.
“I knew that I said some points to make up for from the Boulder round. I was proud of the Boulder round, honestly, I think I’ve pulled out some moved that I don’t know if I would have been able to do a year ago, but I also wanted to fight as hard as I could on the Lead wall. Coming out, I took one move at a time, I knew that every move would matter, especially on that headwall, and I’m really glad that I was able to pull that out and make it happen.”
He then added, talking about one of the most thrilling tops of the final: “On M3 I actually forgot that timer starts at five seconds, not three, so I totally thought that I timed out. It was really shocking to find out that I actually got the top!”
In silver medal position, Sean Bailey added two solid performances, scoring 84.5 in the Boulder phase – only failing to top M4 – and 57.1 in the Lead one, where he fell at the end of an exhausting resistance section, totalising 141.6 points.
Team USA swept the men’s Boulder & Lead podium with Zach Galla taking bronze with 138.5 points – 84.4 in Boulder and 54.1 in Lead.
Three Canadian climbers placed just outside of the podium: Sean McColl took fourth position with 132.6 points, Oscar Baudrand followed in fifth with 87.4, while Victor Baudrand placed sixth with 83.1.
Climbing on home soil, Benjamin Vargas of Chile concluded his event in seventh position, scoring 58.0 points. Mexico’s Thor Villegas placed eighth with 53.1.
For the men’s Boulder & Lead complete results click here.
Sport Climbing competitions at the Pan American Games will conclude tomorrow with the women’s Boulder & Lead final, starting at 18:05 (UTC-3:00). The full schedule is available on the event page of Santiago 2023. All competitions at the Pan American Games will be streaming on the Panam Sports channels.
Updates and news about the Climbing competitions will be available on the official website of the event, on the IFSC website, and on the Federation digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.
Jesse Grupper of the USA pose with the flag after winning gold in the men's Boulder & Lead event at Santiago 2023
Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC