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Boulder Semifinal Men report

@ Anna Piunova

@ Anna Piunova

When bouldering gets tough it becomes beautiful. And this Semifinal was world class: beautiful and intense right to the last move. Just like the last boulder problem that ended the series of 4 amazing problems which tested the 20 world semifinalists to the max. They say that the early bird catches the worm. Well  Dmitry Sharafutdinov and Rustam Gelmanov must have woken up early this morning! What is certain is that the day proceeded even better than it had started for the two Russian climbers. Theirs was an incredible and almost unrepeatable  performance.

Sharafutdinov completed his run, satisfied by the fact that he had been the only athlete capable of sending all the problems in the Semis. He flashed the first three and  then engaged in a true battle with the last problem. It took him 8 unbelievable attempts to send those two beautiful dynos and he did this with a perseverance and skill that deserves a special mention. Well done!

In short, the 24 year old from Ekaterinburg, also known as Dima, truly deserved being top of the class of the 6 World Finalists! Teammate Rustam Gelmanov was the second to gain access to the final. He achieved this with a perfect and impressive performance (he made it look so easy) including problem #3 which he flashed, just like the previous two problems. On the last “station” he just only missed the top… Nobody knew what lay in store as the  best climbers still had to enter the arena, but it was clear that Gelmanov had earned himself a place in the final.

Today’s boulder problems were set in such a way that reaching the top was very difficult indeed. Even Kilian Fischhuber, the bouldering King, got an inkling of this when he was denied problem #1. All of a sudden the road to the final became very tortuous indeed for the Austrian climber. But he’s a King and he immediately managed to top out on #2 and #3 in only two attempts. Then, on #4, he showed off his cat-like powers and, with nonchalance, double dynoed to the top and into the final. Chapeau, for his true champion-like nerves of steel.

Talking of champions: hot on Fischhuber’s heels, even Adam Ondra managed to reserve a place for the final. The great young climbing “magician”, after having messed up his first attempt on problem #1, solved the rest in great style. But as mentioned earlier, no prisoners were taken, and nothing was made easy, not even to him. It took the best climber in the world 3 attempts both for #2 and  #3, only to then be rejected by #4… This makes little difference though because we’ll be seeing him, with a clean slate, in the final this evening.

report by Vinicio Stefanello / planetmountain.com

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