Noguchi and Schubert on top at Bouldering World Cup 2012
Lead specialist Jakob Schubert got off to a sensational start in Chongqing in China today by winning the first stage of the Bouldering World Cup 2012. The undisputed king of the Lead World Cup 2011 proved that his second place in the Milan bouldering leg last year didn't come about by chance and the Austrian won his first Bouldering comp by sending two problems in two attempts. Frenchman Guillaume Glairon Mondet needed three attempts more to send just two problems and win silver, while third placed Rustam Gelmanov managed to send just one, indicating that the final was extremely difficult indeed. So much so that the remaining three finalists - Sachi Amma, Alexey Rubtsov and Jabee Kim - failed to reach the top of any of the final problems and were split on the basis of the attempts needed to reach the bonus zones.
The women's competition witnessed a similar situation to that of the men: difficult problems and very few tops. Akiyo Noguchi won with just two problems sent in two attempts, while her super rival Anna Stöhr - after having been the best in the Semis - needed four attempts more than the Japanese to win silver. Bronze went to Jain Kim from Korea who topped out on just one problem, just like Shauna Coxsey from Britain. Cecile Avezou, at 40 the oldest of the 21 female athletes in the comp, placed 5th and although she failed to top out on any of the problems, she returns home with her best performance to date having beaten the extremely strong Mina Markovic who won the Munich stage last year and, importantly, the Lead World Cup 2011.
Perhaps this is the message which comes loud and clear from China: a quick glance at the results shows that 4 out 12 finalists excel above all in Lead. It'll be interesting to see how things develop in Slovenia next week!
The Speed event was won by Dmitrii Timofeev who beat Libor Hroza in an amazing time of 6.47 seconds, just .7 short of the 2011 world record set by Qixin Zhong who placed third today in front of his home crowd. The women's event was won by Alina Gaydamakina who beat Maria Krasavina and Natalia Titova.