Posted on May 18 2014
The IFSC Climbing Worldcup (B) in Innsbruck, Austria was electrifying. Anyone who has been following Shauna Coxsey’s rise in this competition will really agree that it has been exciting to watch. Despite being an impressive 2nd in the world ranking last year the number one ranked Anna STÖHR really stole the show.
This year however Anna is nipping at Shauna’s heels ready to pounce if she slips.
In the final on the last boulder for the Women everyone was really struggling. It was just sloper after sloper with an impossible last hold that seemed to force the climbers to stand up on a sloper with nothing for their hands. The first few came out and no luck. I wasn’t really worried though as on the previous problem they had been unable to hold the dynamic move and Shauna strutted on and latched it first time.
Shauna came on and really struggled. She just about touched the bonus hold but never really latched on. Suddenly what looked like a gold was slipping away. If Anna could climb it in under 5 attempts she would clinch gold. The next climber, Marine Thevenet, managed the bonus hold with an impressive drop knee but the final hold was a step too far. Anna stepped up. A favorite in her native Austria the crowd wanted a home win and as a neutral it would have been good to see too. A 3500 strong crowd really gave her wings and she passed the bonus hold almost without fuss (they always make it look easier than it really is).
I have to admit I am not a neutral. Strongly patriotic I was hoping Shauna would get gold but a part of me really wanted to see the problem climbed. As there seems to be a gulf between talent in the women’s it seemed it was all down to Anna (personal opinion). To reach the last hold Anna tried the arête, a few different foot positions but it wasn’t to be. It was a fantastic problem but the route-setters may have been a bit harsh with this one.
Shauna got her second gold after her impressive gold in Grindelwald, Switzerland. After missing out on gold in Baku buy an unfortunate foot touching the mat incident (so unlucky) you could really see the smile on her face when she won. Hard work pays off. There is now a little break before the next competition so Shauna can enjoy a well deserved rest.
I can’t overstate how close it is between Anna and Shauna. In Grindelwald they were only 2 attempts apart. And in Baku it was as close as a foot grazing a mat. I am sure neither will let the other rest too much.
I have to say they all put on a fantastic show. They also really engaged with the crowd and such a tight final made it all the more exciting.
The men’s IFSC Climbing Worldcup is more curious. It has been more up and down this year and appears to be wide open. The strong performances of Kilian FISCHHUBER last year have not been so set in stone this year. But as an Austrian it almost seemed right that he would win gold. Also in the mix was Adam Ondra who is a very well known climber. On the competition scene though he is a bit of an enigma as he doesn’t seem to focus on any one discipline. With impressive results speed climbing, lead climbing and on the bouldering circuit.
Ondra looked like he had it in the bag as he walked I front of the crowd. An impressive start of flashes did him well but 3 attempts because of a less than perfect foothold (understatement of the year) on the previous problem had Killian nipping at his heels. On the first attempt Adam was called off the wall (unlucky and something to do with his start). He has to make the next one count. Another fall and he is on attempt 3. Attempt 3 he secures it but leaves Kilian in a position where if he can climb it in 2 attempts he wins it.
Kilian really showed his experience and bagged the gold but Ondra had made it look so easy the whole way through. It was the home win the crowd wanted. Anna was climbing at the same time as Kilian and very sweetly amongst the roars of the crowd he urged them to concentrate on Anna’s attempts. After all she is an Austrian and his girlfriend. She still had a shot of gold at this point and 1 min 20 seconds left.
The number one Dmitrii SHARAFUTDINOV managed a respectable 4th place but after his impressive 1st in Baku and 2nd in Grindelwald he is still the favorite. After the performances in Austria who knows.
It is so great to see such a competitive female showings from the female boulderers. Both Shauna Coxsey and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk have been putting in impressive performances and we certainly hope to see more form the very young but impressive Orrin Coley and Molly Thompson-Smith in the future.
I you would like to meet and listen to Mina Leslie-Wujastyk in the flesh you can come to the Women Climbers Special Talk on the 15th September. You will also get the chance to hear from another impressive British Talent Emma Twyford.
View the replay here: