IFSC – Kazo Bouldering World Cup

This weekend saw the second World Cup of the new season, and Kazo in Japan seemed to be a venue loved by all if the athletes’ instagrams/blogs/twitters are anything to go by!

Results Spoiler Alert – Shauna BEASTED finals to take the Gold AGAIN! Rustam Gelmanov also claimed Gold in the Mens, and Melissa Le Neve (one of my all time favourites!!) got the Womens silver, with Miho Nonaka coming in third. Men’s silver and bronze went to Michael Piccolruaz and Kokoro Fujii.

Having been out on the water and wall all weekend, we sat down on Sunday to binge watch the Semis and Finals with a fresh coffee and some left over curry (perfection they name is leftovers!). The semis saw many of the usual suspects, including 3 Brit ladies and 1 Brit man. Shauna Coxsey, Leah Crane, Micheala Tracey and Ty Landman all came out to climb in the Semis, and faced some seriously overhanging problems. There was only one slab to be seen, and a lot of volumes and the odd tiny crimp. Japan’s obsession with competition climbing was clear in the packed house for Semis, and it was great to hear the crowd all they way through cheering for everyone, not just the home favourites.

There were a few shocks of the day, with Anna Stöhr and local favourite Akyio Noguchi not making it through to the finals, despite some pure class climbing from Anna. Noguchi never quite got into her stride which was disappointing from the current world champ, but the commentator kept going on about her celebrity status so I think the pressure might have got to her a little perhaps? Whatever it was, she did not look on form and watched the Finals from the sidelines. Another shock of the day was Sean McColl’s absence from the final, after a bit of argy bargy (not really) over his foot placement on the final Men’s Semi boulder – ‘It was ON THE LINE’ as an old Tennis Pro might have said, but wh oknows. His joining the commentary team for the Finals though was brilliant, he seems so lovely and witty – my boyfriend now has a total man crush on him… Should I be worried?

Also, despite their impressive efforts, neither Michaela nor Leah made it through to the finals, but from following (stalking) them both online quite a lot lately, it seems this year is a learning experience for both, with Leah having decided to train full time with Shauna and Mark Glennie (which is definitely paying off!). Fanny Gilbert was a stand-out for me, she was cruising up boulders with some real style – especially in the final where we saw her get that last jump on the slab up to two red kidney-shaped holds with such ease, and then proceeded to watch almost everyone else struggle with the two-handed jump and match, she was very unlucky not to podium I think.

Despite the constant sweaty palms, I love watching the World Cups. Every year they get better, from the boulders to the streaming reliability! On to China next, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store. Queen Coxsey – Long may she reign!

A shout out also has to go out to Liam Lonsdale and his Twitter obsession – if ever the stream is down/something happens, his twitter is usually on the ball with the latest info ha. 🙂

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