I made a quick report for work and I wanted to share. I really want to share more but this short report will have to do, for now.
First, the weather in Boulder on Saturday made it easier to be inside climbing. Movement climbing + fitness, which was designed with this caliber of an event in mind, hosted the event. There were an estimated 1200 people packed into the gym to watch Finals last night. The crowd was electric, the climbers put on one heck of a show and if you were a betting man, you might have lost some sure bets. There were upsets and surprises. I was on the edge of my seat to the very last semi-qualifying performer hoping our two best USA athletes made the final cut (from 26 semi-finalists to 8 finalists).
For the women, Sasha DiGiulian, with a very impressive high point on the semi-final route, managed to hold her position of 7 in Finals. Only Johanna Ernst of Austria came closest to onsighting the finals route. She fell 2 moves short. Mina Markovic of Slovenia fell 4 moves short and then 4 girls fell 2 moves below that. They had to count back to semi-finals to sort out the final result. Momoka ODA of Japan held onto 3rd spot.
For the men, Matty Hong (Steve Hong’s son; btw, Steve competed, too!) came into finals in 8th position and finished in 6th after 2 shocking and heartbreaking finishes by Sean McColl (Canada’s best young difficulty climber out there today) and Ramón Julian Puigblanque of Spain. Both were strong contenders for a podium position if not the top spot! Sadly, Jakob Schubert of Austria took 1st, by a long shot. He’s won the last 6 Lead World Cups in a row and I’m only sad because I really wanted Sean to give Jakob a good run! As it was, Ramon and Sean tied for 2nd in Semi-finals whereas Jakob came into finals in 4th position. Sachi AMMA of Japan qualified in 1st but finished the event in 2nd. I have video that I’ll share once it’s together.
Personally, this was one of the best run events of which I’ve been a part. The venue, the routes, the volunteers, the organization and flow were smooth and without major incidence. In fact, I found it surreal to be climbing a World Cup route with Lynn Hill belaying me. When I get the photo, I’m framing it. 🙂 To get a taste of the energy and significance of this event, watch the qualifying footage, here. I’m #25 at about 1:35 (if you want a glimpse).