The 2018 IFSC World Cup competition climbing season is starting this Friday 13 April in Meiringen, Switzerland, and we’re psyched to watch! Last year, BMC ambassador Shauna Coxsey returned from injury to defend her title. Can she do it again? Find out how to watch the livestreams here.
That’s right, competition climbing is back. And we’re excited to see how this year’s crop of ridiculously strong athletes will perform on the 2018 IFSC World Cup Circuit. Can the Japanese Team get any stronger? How will the young rising stars of the GB Climbing Team and Team USA fare against the veterans of competition climbing?
This year, there’s all to play for in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Over 200 athletes registered for the IFSC Boulder World Cup in Meiringen as all nations look to have their teams fully prepared for climbing in the Olympic Games, which is coming sooner than you think!
Registrations continue to grow as Sport Climbing approaches the Youth Olympic Games 2018 in Buenos Aires and the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo. Nine of the athletes that have qualified for Buenos Aires will be on the starting list for Meiringen, showing how the IFSC World Cup events truly are showcasing the world’s elite talent in climbing.
Suffering a finger injury in January this year, two-time and reigning IFSC Boulder World Cup Champion Shauna Coxsey has painstakingly recovered and trained herself back up to strength in time for the 2018 IFSC Boulder World Cup season. But has her time off the mats affected her incredible strength? We hope not, but we’re just excited to see her perform again on the world stage this year.
Rule changes: Prior to 2018, attempts to tops in Bouldering broke ties in tops, followed by bonus holds if still tied. Now, bonus holds (called “Zones” in 2018) break ties in tops: Number of Tops (T) / Number of Zones (Z) / Number of attempts to Tops / Number of attempts to Zones
Contenders: 2018 IFSC Boulder World Cup
We’re struggling to pick out the very best from this line-up as there will be a horde of elite climbers hitting the stage this weekend who are stronger than ever. The level of these athletes continues to rise each year and 2018 is no exception – this season is likely to be the best yet!
Of course, we’ll be cheering on the GB Climbing Team (read below for our line-up), but we’re also looking forward to everyone hit those blocs hard! As ever, the Japanese Team continues to impress and we’ll be keeping a close eye on them, especially as Miho Nonaka won the Studio Bloc Masters 2018 and Kokoro Fujii breezed to the top of the podium at the CWIF 2018. Not to mention, their team also consists of IFSC World Champion and reigning IFSC Combined World Cup Champion Tomoa Narasaki, strongmen Keita Watabe, Rei Sugimoto and Yoshiyuki Ogata, and veteran Akiyo Noguchi who finished 3rd in the IFSC 2017 Boulder rankings.
Meanwhile, Team USA is pulling out all the stops for the first IFSC Boulder World Cup of the season with some big names in there like Alex Puccio and Margo Hayes, Nathaniel Coleman, Sean Bailey and Kai Lightner, and many more old and new names – we’re hopeful that Team USA will continue to compete in events throughout the season.
There are huge teams also coming in from Austria, France, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Belgium, and of course, the home team of Switzerland. Elsewhere there are many of the usual faces seen atop of multiple podiums, such as Janja Garnbret of Slovenia – the IFSC Combined World Cup Champion 2017; Jongwon Chon of Korea – the IFSC Boulder World Cup Champion 2017; IFSC European Bouldering Champion Stasa Gejo of Serbia; IFSC Bouldering World Champion Petra Klingler, Alexey Rubtsov of Russia – winner of the Studio Bloc Masters 2018; and not to mention favourites and big names like: Sean McColl of Canada, Alex Megos of Germany, Fanny Gibert and Manuel Cornu of France, Jakob Schubert and Katha Saurwein from Austria, Chloe Caulier of Belgium, Katja Kadic and Jernej Kruder from Slovenia, and many many more… there are so many contenders we’ve likely missed a few out.
Strong Crew: The GB Climbing Team
Fresh new faces join crowd favourites for the start of the 2018 season, as the GB Climbing Team swells to a dynamic dozen. Emily Phillips, Holly Toothill, and Max Ayrton join the senior squad on the international stage, and with strong performances from them in Youth categories last year we’re sure they’ll do well.
Shauna Coxsey will of course be looking to defend her crown, while the other half of the training duo Leah Crane will be looking to move up the rankings. Jen Wood will also be joining the team after a solid showing last season, joining her will also be Hannah Slaney who performed well last season making her first senior IFSC World Cup final in Lead, coming second at the British Bouldering Championships, and continues to go from strength to strength – she’ll be looking to make her mark here.
Unfortunately Michaela Tracy is absent from the starting line-up in Meiringen this year. Michaela finished ranked 9th in the 2017 season and we hope she’ll be making many appearances in the 2018 season.
The male half of the GB Climbing Team consists of reigning British Bouldering Champion Tyler Landman, who ranked 25th in the world despite not competing at many of the World Cups. Nathan Phillips had another impressive season last year indoors and outdoors. In the IFSC rankings he came in just under Tyler at 29th, Nathan won the Battle of Britain and came 3rd at the British Bouldering Championships 2017, and he also flashed the Ropes of Maui (8B) in Llanberis Pass, which is the hardest flash of a boulder problem on British soil.
Meanwhile, former British Bouldering Champions Dave Barrans and Matt Cousins will also be joining the team, as will on-form Aidan Roberts who made the CWIF finals this year, and another young strongman Max Ayrton who is no stranger to the competition game having made finals at a European Youth Cup before.
Competing for us in Round One in Switzerland will be:
Livestream: Watch it here
Semi-finals on 14 April, 10:00 BST
Finals on 14 April, 17:30 BST
The full programme of the IFSC World Cup in Meiringen, Switzerland, is as follows. (All times are in BST).
Friday, 13 April
08:00-14:00 Qualification Men
15:30-20:00 Qualification Women
Saturday, 14 April
10:00-13:00 Semi-Finals Men and Women – (LIVE)
17:30-20:15 Finals Men and Women – (LIVE)
After: Awards Ceremony – (LIVE)
The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland, and Rock Over Climbing. The GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. The GB Ice Climbing Team is supported by Montane. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.
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WATCH: Shauna Coxsey: This Girl Can Win on BMC TV