Shauna returns to form and the top of the podium in Innsbruck last weekend in a stunning display of strength, poise, and tenacity. Meanwhile, the entire GB Climbing Team put on an incredible show that saw five of the team make it through to the semi-finals. Read on for the full report.
As always, Innsbruck promised to be one of the best IFSC Boulder World Cups of the year. After four events already, the overall rankings were far from certain and going into the fifth round anything could happen. The local crowd were as psyched as ever and the event had moved to the Olympia World with a capacity of 10,000 people; and it was packed to the rafters.
Leah Crane said: "This year the comp moved from the iconic market platz square in the middle of the city to the Olympia Hall. There were concerns that this would effect audience numbers but Innsbruck's residents seem to be too psyched on climbing not to come and watch – it was a full house!"
After a nail-bitingly close semi-finals, BMC ambassador Shauna Coxsey remained cool under pressure on the tricky finals problems to produce her fourth win of the season. Our biggest congratulations go to her on her incredible victory.
Leah Crane said: "And just like that she's stood back on the top step. I told you it was just a blip on her map."
With only two IFSC Boulder World Cups left, Shauna's fourth gold of the season brings the overall title well within grasp. She's extended her lead on Miho Nonaka to 118 points and Melissa Le Nevé lies in third position 139 points behind Shauna. We can't wait to see what the next event brings.
There were some big upsets in qualifiers and a stark contrast between the two groups. Group A saw it come down to the number of attempts as 14 climbers topped all five of the problems. Tyler Landman topped four of the boulders in five attempts and came incredibly close to topping the fifth, but falling on the last move – unlucky Ty!
The Russian dyno Rustam Gelmanov topped all five problems in 11 attempts, but still failed to make the cut. And crusher Jan Hojer flashed four problems but failed on the fifth, meaning he was out of the competition too. Nathan Philips put on a dazzling display of strength and skill to top all five problems in six attempts, putting him in a massively impressive second place.
Over in group B there were fewer tops and Dave Barrans squeezed through into semis, while Billy Ridal flashed the first problem with impeccable style, putting him in a highly respectable 41st place above some big names.
In the women's qualifiers, Shauna Coxsey started the compeition perfectly by flashing all the problems alongside three other climbers. Meanwhile, Leah Crane and Michaela Tracey both made it through to semis with four tops each, and Tara Hayes sent two blocs and achieved four bonuses earning her 43rd place.
After a relaxed morning, the competition hotted up for an action-packed and exciting semi-final. Sean McColl and Akiyo Noguchi dominated their respective rounds by flashing all four problems.
In the female semi-finals, a tricky set of problems meant that it came down to the last problem to see who would make it through, and Shauna needed to flash it to make finals. It was perhaps the most nerve-wracking yet exciting moment of the season so far; See how she did below.
Leah Crane and Michaela Tracey both gave it their all to finish in 15th and 17th place, respectively. Meanwhile, Dave Barrans and Nathan Phillips both gave impressive performances to finish with their best results of the season – 12th and 17th, respectively.
The field of athletes lining up for finals was packed full of big names and strong climbers, all vying for the top spot. The pressure was on to see who would take home the gold.
Shauna made it clear she was out to win by flashing the first two problems, but Megan Mascarenas was hot on her heels. The third bloc proved to be the boulder that separated the field, a tricky jump.
Leah Crane said: "After this boulder it was Janja Garnbret who was now chasing Shauna for the gold closely followed by Miho Nonaka. Shauna was only one attempt ahead of Janja and three ahead of Miho."
It all came down to the last bloc, an overhanging angled barrel with powerful moves on bad slopey crimps. Shauna needed nothing less than a perfect flash to take home the gold medal, and that's what she pulled out the bag in her usual cool-headed manner! An amazing effort and our heartfelt congrats again.
Shauna's post comp dinner at 1am as the comp finished so late. Photo: Leah Crane
The men's finals saw far fewer tops, but the competition was still fierce and resulted in reigning champion Jongwon Chon taking home gold, current leader Tomoa Narasaki earning silver, and Sean McColl winning bronze and his first podium place of the year.
Leah Crane said: "The GB bouldering team really seems to be gathering momentum this season and it'll be exciting to see where it goes in the near future with Shauna inspiring younger generations and showing what is possible with dedication and hard work."
After a three-week break, the Bouldering World Cup will resume on 10-11 June in Vail, USA, for the penultimate event.
Shauna Coxsey (GBR)
Janja Garnbret (SLO)
Miho Nonaka (JPN)
Megan Mascarenas (USA)
Anna Stohr (AUT)
Akiyo Noguchi (JPN)
Sol Sa (KOR)
Jongwon Chon (KOR)
Tomoa Narasaki (JPN)
Seanh McColl (CAN)
Rolands Rugens (LAT)
Dmitrii Sharafutdin (RUS)
Martin Stranik (CZE)
WATCH: Finals of 2016 Boulder World Cup Round Five in Innsbruck
WATCH: Semi-finals of 2016 Boulder World Cup Round Five in Innsbruck
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HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 La Sportiva British Bouldering Championships