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Boulder Semifinal Women report

Sasha DiGiulian © Giulio Malfer

Sasha DiGiulian © Giulio Malfer

The Bouldering competition has lived up to expectations: you simply never know what might happen! Not even in this Arco World Championship Female Semifinal, because “the golden ticket” to the World Championship final was won by Juliane Wurm and this came as a big surprise! The twenty-year-old German produced the competition of a lifetime. She climbed great, topping out on the first three boulder problems straight off before sending the last and difficult 4th problem in three intense attempts. An (almost) perfect competition for her. She is now the “woman to beat”, and she definitely deserves this title!

The right of passage  to reach the golden final really had to be conquered. The competition arena offered 4 problems which could have been worth a degree in bouldering.  There was a bit of everything: it started off with the first two overhanging problems and ended up with two slabs, and these were what made all the difference. Put in other words: today the athletes had to climb well and give it their all (this is the World Champs though, isn’t it!?) To move on to the next round the only way forward was to reach the top and send all problems.

Another athlete to make the final as well as Wurm was the Japanese Akiyo Noguchi, one of the overall favourites for the world title, who trails the German in the provisional ranking with a “handicap” of one extra attempt. She is followed by 18-year-old American Sasha DiGiulian who trails by a whisker, by a mere 2 attempts more. What a great Championship for her, especially considering the fact that she is the youngest of the six finalists!

@ Anna Piunova

@ Anna Piunova

Yana Chereshneva also forms part of the élite finalists and this is an outstanding result for her, probably quite unexpected. The Russian athlete qualified by immediately overcoming the first two hurdles, before sending the other two problems in 2 and 4 attempts respectively. She achieved this by battling hard and believing in herself right to the bitter end.

A fighting spirit… added to this a touch of class and plenty of experience and you get Olga Bibik, the fifth finalist. The Russian has fought a thousand battles and is the absolute veteran here in Arco, yet she found the strength to send the first 3 boulder problems all second go, before engaging in a strenuous (and almost epic) battle on the last problem which she “conquered” in 8 attempts. Amazing!

Anna Stöhr was just as great. The “lady of world bouldering”  just squeezed into the final. She is last on list of finalists, as well as being the only athlete to qualify for the final with “only” 3 tops. And to think that she sent them all on her first attempt! Hers could have been the perfect competition, but then she failed to find millimetric balance which barred the road to the top. But importantly, the road to the final is still wide open and we’re sure she’ll have her say in the game tomorrow.

A game which now ended for the all the other athletes. Including Shauna Coxsey and Francesca Metcalf who yesterday surprisingly won the qualifying rounds. Another hot favourite out of the finals is Jain Kim, the Korean who excels at both lead climbing and bouldering. But as everyone knows, bouldering is unpredictable game. And this is exactly what makes it so enticing!

At 12 o’clock the Male Boulder Semifinalists.
The Female Boulder Final is today at 4 pm.

report by Vinicio Stefanello / planetmountain.com

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