Sport Climbing at the 19th Asian Games came to a close with Japan’s Mori Ai taking the women’s Boulder & Lead title at the Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Sport Climbing Centre under heavy rain.

The final eight women who qualified from the semi-finals earlier in the day unfortunately couldn’t take to the mats for the final round as persistent rainfall caused the cancellation of the finale. That meant the standings after the semi-finals decided the final rankings.

It meant Mori once again visited the top step of an international competition, but the young athlete just loves to climb and show the world what she can do: “I really wanted to climb the final. Qualification and semi-finals I was climbing well, qualification I maybe could have done a little better, I wanted to have a stronger performance. 

“I’m actually quite sad to win without climbing the final. Now I’ll go back home to Japan and get ready for next season.”

Mori took gold with a semi-final score of 199.73, the same score as silver medallist Seo Chaehyun, but the tiebreaker was the qualification results in which Mori led.

Just like Mori, a medal was bittersweet for Seo: “Honestly, I’m not that happy about this medal. I think I could have gone for gold in the final and earn the medal I deserved with my climbing. It’s not even about the medal, it’s disappointing to not get the challenge of the final round.”

The next stop for Seo is the Asian Olympic qualification event in Jakarta, Indonesia, but despite the ending in Hangzhou, the South Korean climber has taken the positives to help her push for Paris 2024: “I think after this competition I am now good at this format. I worked a lot for these Games and I think it will work out in Jakarta. I really want to get a gold now more than ever.”

Completing the podium with a bronze medal was Zhang Yuetong who gave the crowd and volunteers who persevered the wet conditions something to cheer on home soil at the medal presentation ceremony. Zhang posted a semi-final score of 175.73 for her medal.

The other climbers who would have liked to have shown their medal winning potential were Japan’s Matsufuji Anon who finished in fourth, South Korea’s Sa Sol who finished fifth, China’s Luo Zhilu in sixth, Iran’s Elnaz Rekabi seventh and Kazakhstan’s Margarita Agambayeva eighth.

Full women’s Boulder & Lead results can be found here


Women's Boulder & Lead podiumPhoto: Dimitris Tosidis

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