The final act of the 2023 IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships in Seoul was the home national anthem ringing out as South Korean climber Noh Hyunseung stop atop the podium after taking gold in the men’s U16 Boulder.

USA’s Analise Van Hoang was the women’s U16 Boulder winner as the Seoul Mountain Climbing & Culture Centercalled time on hosting duties for the premier youth event.

Starting his finals competition by flashing the first problem, Noh edged ahead as the only climber to top the second boulder and followed it up with two zones. His nearest rival, Japan’s Hamada Ryusei, did top the final boulder, but with attempts taken into account, Noh was the world champion.

Noh said: “I never expected to get the gold medal but I’m so happy and I’m looking forward to taking this forward into the future to win some more. When we were presented to the crowd before we started, I felt the power from them and that helped me to the top.”

Topping the final boulder was enough to give Hamada silver as the only climber other than gold medallist Noh to top two problems.

Joining his teammate on the podium was Nagamori Hareru of Japan who topped one boulder and made the zone in all four finals problems. Nagamori was just ahead of another Japanese climber, Sasahara Yosui, who also topped the first problem, but could only zone in three of the four.

Germany’s Timo Ossig finished in fifth overall with France’s Lilian Bonniot in sixth.

Full men’s U16 Boulder results can be found here


Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

In the women’s U16 Boulder final, Van Hoang confirmed her medal with three climbers still left to attempt the final boulder, not that the American knew that.

With all six finalists only making the zone on the first boulder, Van Hoang then showed her medal potential with two flashes. After topping the fourth in three attempts, she had given herself an unassailable lead with fewer attempts overall before the other finalists had even tried the final problem.

Van Hoang said: “It was super cool. I think I climbed pretty well and it’s great to see all the training is working. I really liked the last boulder; it was a super sick boulder. It was fun.”  

The only other climber to top three boulder was Spain’s Geila Macia Martin who doing so secured herself the silver medal to add to the bronze she got in the U16 Lead competition earlier in the week.

The winner of that Lead competition, Japan’s Oda Natsumi also got onto the Boulder podium taking bronze with two tops and four zones.

Just off the podium in fourth was Spain’s Julia Benach Zubero, ahead of Austria’s Flora Oblasser in fifth and USA’s Jojo Chi in sixth.

Full women’s U16 Boulder results can be found here The best performing nation at the 2023 Youth Worlds was once again Japan, who with 20 medals improved on their 2022 medal haul of 19. 


Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

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