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World Championships 2012
Exciting Women’s Bouldering Semi-final!!

The 4th day of the ongoing World Champioships in Sport Climbing and Paraclimbing started with the Women’s Bouldering semi-final round. According to the chief routesetter of the event, Jamie Cassidy, the four boulders were graded as follows: 7A, 7A+, 7B or B+ and 7B+. As it turned out, it wasn’t the grade itself but the routesetting that posed so many problems. Twenty semi-finalists went out in the reversed order, i.e. from the lowest to highest score achieved in the qualification round. The key move of the first warm-up boulder was a standard dyno that was completed by the most of the girls. The 7A+ boulder starting from a huge oval volume seemed doable except the final move to the top hold which appeared to be the most difficult to stick to. Only few of the competitors managed to grab it and among them we could see for example Anna Stöhr or Mélanie Sandoz (getting stronger than ever!) but not Akiyo Noguchi.


Anna Stöhr in the qualification round
(photo: Michael ROPER/IFSC

The 3rd problem definitely deserved its name of the hardest semi-final boulder. It was tricky at the overhanging beginning and ended with a little mantle on a huge sloper. Here, it has to be emphasized that the top hold was not really the one you could jump and stick to so what really counted was either pure muscle strength and statics or precision and incredibly strong fingers. Suffice it to say that no woman topped out the boulder although Petra Klinger, Mélissa Le Nevé and Anna Stöhr were pretty close with one hand reaching the top hold. Nothing helped; neither brushing, nor wheeling and dealing nor Alex Puccio’s argument of muscle strength. Akiyo Noguchi gave up on this one with 01:30 still on the clock but repaid for it on the last boulder solving it totally with her feet (guess she decided to strictly follow the example of her team friend Momoka Oda, who bewitched the audience with her flawless feet work during yesterday’s Women’s Lead semi-finals).

The 4th problem was a nail in the coffin of Juliane Wurm’s and Alex Puccio’s who looked frustriated as never before. The semi-final round confirmed the common opinion that in the case of the American, the key to success when it comes to comps is not strength which she clearly does not lack but her psycho. Despite the fact that no one could be Alex’s match in terms of rock bouldering, while competing she tends to get easily annoyed and cannot focus on sending a boulder anymore, which was so noticeable during today’s semis.

Eventually, we got to know who’s going to face the final challenge and one has to admit that the final six is more than a surprise:

Anna Stöhr - 3t4 4b4
Jain Kim – 3t8 4b10
Cecile Avezou – 2t2 4b4
Akiyo Noguchi – 2t3 4t5
Olga Iakovleva – 2t4 3b4
Mélanie Sandoz – 2t5 4b7

In the final we are going to see neither most prospective host’s representative Mélissa Le Nevé, nor Alex Puccio nor Juliane Wurm. However the biggest surprise was a brillant performance of Jain Kim’s who eventually topped out three of four boulders as the only competitor apart from obvious favorite, Austrian Anna Stöhr. One of the brightest stars of the current female bouldering scene, Shauna Coxsey of Great Britain is not competing due to a broken leg.

The final (Sunday, 1 pm CET) should be interesting, don’t you think?

The complete results are available at the IFSC website:

And for the entire program go to the official site of the event:

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