Saturday, April 1, 2023

Garnbrett Vulnerable, Battle Rabouto and Grossman. Result.

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IFSC’s World Cup season continues till the end of this week With lead and speed competitions in Villars, Switzerland. Overall, the pit stop on the current “European swing” of the circuit proved not only to be historic, but was fraught with surprises and in-your-seat moments.

Much of the Villars’ initial intrigue revolved around two competitors, notably: Colin Duffy of Team USA, who made headlines last week at the Innsbruck World Cup by becoming the first man to win the lead and boulder competition in the same World Cup; and Slovenia’s Janja Garnbreit, who is now on the circuit in the consistent lead discipline after taking a long hiatus from most events in Boulder.

Up until that point, a big question at the Villars’ World Cup was whether Duffy and Garnbrett could both be golden again, like they were at Innsbruck. But there were plenty of other contestants on their own hot streaks, including Chehyun Seo of South Korea, Brooke Rabouto of Team USA, and Italy’s Laura Rogora in the women’s division, and Ao Yurikusa of Japan and Team USA’s Jesse Grouper in the men’s division.

Here’s what happened when the action at Villars finally started and all those contestants went face to face on the wall.

Janja Garnbreit Competing At The World Cup In Villars, Switzerland.
Janja Garnbreit maintained her perfect streak in the lead, taking her second gold of the World Cup season. (Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC)

China wins speed competition

The speed discipline in Villars was in full swing on Indonesia’s Kiromal Katibin during the discipline’s qualification run. Katibin broke his own world record twice and was undoubtedly the most favorite player in the men’s final round. However, once the finale begins, it is clear that fans are ready for some twists and turns. Two of the other biggest speed names in the men’s field—Iran’s Reza Alipore Schenzandifard (a former world record holder) and Italy’s Ludovico Fosli—were both disqualified from the race due to false starts.

Immediately after those DQs, the biggest surprise came when Katibin slipped near the top of the route in a losing race against his Indonesian compatriot Vedric Leonardo. Katibin’s shocking drop significantly changed the standings and fans’ expectations. By the time the men’s bracket field was narrowed down to four competitors, Peng Wu, Jinbao Long and Jianguo Long—all from China—were alongside Leonardo of Indonesia. The surprise came when Leonardo himself slipped in a short final race for the bronze medal against Jinbao Long. Fortunately, the race to the Big Final was much cleaner and closer, with Jianguo Long defeating Peng Wu by just 0.01 seconds to win the gold medal. This resulted in a clean sweep of the men’s podium by Team China. China’s sweep was particularly noteworthy as a strong Chinese team had been largely absent from international competition since the start of the pandemic. In fact, the gold and silver medalists—Jianguo Long and Peng Wu—had never competed outside Asia prior to this Villars’ World Cup.

Garnbrett Vulnerable, Battle Rabouto And Grossman. Result.
World speed record holder Kiromal Katibin was in favour, but a goal knocked him out of the medal race. (Photo: Janja Garnbreit competing at the World Cup in Villars, Switzerland.)

The women’s speed division also had its share of unexpected moments, including a false start from China’s Shengyan Wang and a slip by France’s Aurelia Sarrison in the final round. But the most shocking incident happened when Poland’s Alexandra Kaluka—a multiple-time medalist this season—stumbled near the top of the route in a race against Polish teammate Anna Brzek. In a split second, Brozek was able to capitalize on Kaluka’s mistake, take the lead and win the race in a time of 7.521 seconds. Brozek then also defeated Team USA’s Emma Hunt, but eventually lost in the bronze medal race against Indonesia’s Desak Made Rita Kusuma Davey. Lijuan Deng and Di Niu, both China, were involved in the Big Final race to determine the gold and silver medalists. The struggle was hotly anticipated given how well each competitor had participated throughout the weekend, but an unfortunate low slip by Niue allowed Deng to cruise to a gold medal with a time of 6.875 seconds. .

Garnbrett Vulnerable, Battle Rabouto And Grossman. Result.
Jiangu Long of China swiftly celebrated his victory. China picked up the men’s pace with gold, silver and bronze. (Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC)

American men climb, but don’t quite catch Homa

Colin Duffy and Jesse Grouper have emerged as the big American standouts in the men’s lead division this season, and their early results at the Villars solidified that. Duffy topped one of the qualification routes and finished near the top of the pack, just one point behind Yurikusa of Japan, the leader of the round.

The grouper was slightly lower in the qualification standings, with Germany’s Alex Megos and Japan’s Taisei Homa. However, in the semi-finals that followed, the grouper advanced to the top of the standings. He motored through flathead pinches and sloppy pockets at the bottom of the route, and then overtook a cruxie section of crimps that had stopped several other competitors (including Slovenia’s Luka Potokar and France’s Paul Genft) and scored. Was stopped around 29-30.

Garnbrett Vulnerable, Battle Rabouto And Grossman. Result.
Colin Duffy fights for bronze in the lead after his golds in the lead and boulder Last week in Innsbruck. (Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC)

The grouper continued to climb the lip and headwall. Nevertheless, in one of the most awkward moments of the semi-final, the grouper was awarded a yellow-card penalty for continuing the climb even though his time was up. Ultimately it didn’t matter; The grouper’s semifinal score of 36 was nonetheless enough for a comfortable lead. Duffy also fought to the lip of the headwall and finished just behind the grouper in the standings with a score of 34.

In the final round, Japan’s Homa set an early high point as he progressed into a sequence of yellow double-tex areas at the headwall for a score of 36+. Homa’s score would remain unmatched as additional contestants fell under headwall in a craggy midsection. Even Germany’s Yannick Flohe, another standout of the season, could only manage 33… still a few steps shy of Homa’s mark.

Garnbrett Vulnerable, Battle Rabouto And Grossman. Result.
Japan’s Taisei Homa set an early high point that no one could match. (Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC)

Duffy, as the final climber, passed Flohe’s spot and finished with a score of 34 – and finally a bronze medal – after a right foot slip over the headwall. Grouper climbed last and was able to score one point more than Duffy, but could not reach the high point that Homa had set in the first round. As a result, the grouper (with a score of 34+) was awarded the silver medal, and Homa was presented with the gold.

“Rabouteau vs. Garnbret” Is the Latest Tangled Fight

One of the most surprising aspects of the women’s section was that Slovenia’s Garnbrett was not the first to be eliminated from the qualification round. In fact, she was neither second nor third. She topped one of the qualifying routes and a score of 42 on the second route, which saw high scores by some competitors (and a top by Team USA’s Brooke Rabouto). This put Garnbreth in an unfamiliar position to lag behind in the score for the next round. Still, there’s a reason why Garnbright is widely regarded as the greatest of all time. She soon showed so much greatness in the semi-finals through a series of yellow slopes on the lip of the headwall – a brutal stretch that stunned several other competitors, including Slovenia’s Mia Krample, Japan’s Mei Kotek and France’s Manon Hill.

In fact, Garnbrate was the only woman to top the semifinal route. This put him back in the leader position on the scorecard. “Looks like he’s tweaked during the boulder…” [season] When everyone else was competing,” Matt Groom said on commentary, noting Garnbrough’s aforementioned hiatus from the bouldering circuit and the positive gains it had on his prime climbing abilities.

Brooke Rabouteau, Janja Garnbrett And Natalia Grossman On The Podium At Villars.
The leading three in the lead: Brooke Rabouteau, Janja Garnbrett and Natalia Grossman on the podium at Villars. (Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC)

However, somewhat ironically, the final path of the upcoming women did There are several “boldari” moves, including a lateral dyno on top of the wall. The jump proved too big for some of the finalists—Japan’s Natsuki Tani and South Korea’s Chehyun Seo—and even contestants who cling to the dyno, had to control the resulting wild leg swing. It took a lot of effort. Team USA’s Natalia Grossman managed to get through this low jump and eventually set a high point of 35+ on the headwall that stood for a while.

Nevertheless, the women’s final round had its own peculiar moment when Healy of France climbed up and was given a low score of 8+… Again, Healy was given something of a mulligan after apparently being short-roped during that first attempt. Healy’s second attempt (28+) was much better than his first, but still not enough to hold Grossman. Italy’s Rogora could not even catch Grossmann and fell on 31+ for a right-arm crimp.

It wasn’t until Team USA’s Rabouteau surpassed Grossman’s highpoint… and Raboutou did it in scintillating fashion. She climbed fluidly to the top of the steep path and reached her fingers sideways for the 38th score before falling mere inches from the top of the wall.

As unbelievable as Rabouteau’s effort was, Garnbrett stepped forward and closed the show in a thrashing fashion. Instead of reaching sideways statically for that 38th hold, Garnbrett dynamically leaped for it, planting his feet securely on a large prism feature. He rested comfortably in that standing position on feature, and then successfully continued through the next few moves as well and cut the chains – still the only top of the round to win the gold medal. Raboutou earned the silver and Grossman earned the bronze.

At this point in the season, Garnbrett is performing as well as she’s ever been — and that’s really saying something when talking about someone who’s already known as “The Queen” of the modern competition era. “It has been agreed. But Rabouteau is also to be commended, having now made the podium in both lead events in 2022. It is expected that Garnbrett and Raboutou will continue to face each other in the final rounds of this lead season, as they bring out the best in each other.

IFSC’s current swing through Europe and the Alps continues next weekend (8-10 July) with lead and speed competitions in Chamonix, France.


men’s lead

  1. Taisei Homa (JPN)
  2. Jesse Grouper (USA)
  3. Colin Duffy (USA)
  4. mean flow (GER)
  5. Saiton Yoshida (JPN)
  6. Yoshiyuki Ogata (JPN)
  7. Mejdi Schalk (FRA)
  8. Ao Yurikusa (JPN)

female lead

  1. Janja Garnbrett (SLO)
  2. Brooke Raboutou (USA)
  3. Natalia Grossman (USA)
  4. Laura Rogora (ITA)
  5. Manon Healy (FRA)
  6. Chaehyun Seo (KOR)
  7. Ryu Nakagawa (JPN)
  8. Natsuki Tani (JPN)

for men pace

  1. Jianguo Long (CHN)
  2. Peng Wu (CHN)
  3. Jinbao Long (CHN)

women’s speed

  1. Lijuan Deng (CHN)
  2. Di Niu (CHN)
  3. Desk Made Rita Kusuma Devi (INA)

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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