Day 7: Anak Verhoeven and Keiichiro Korenaga first in Semifinal Lead Juniors


Semifinals Lead Male Juniors
The third and final Semifinal of the day is reserved for the Juniors. Awaiting them is the righthand side of the wall which, at first glance, looks complicated, difficult and delicate right from the outset. A sort of slow torture which leads you, completely pumped, to the huge overhanging wave. There where – everyone knows by now – it’s make or break for the finals. In the previous Youth A and Youth B semis, those who breached the roof qualified for the finals. Everyone also knows that, until the first half of the athletes are done, usually there’s no outstanding ascent. Just like this time. Only Slovenia’s Anze Peharc had climbed significantly higher (read 4 holds) than the first half of the field, ahead of Spain’s Jonatan Flor Vazquez who had fallen off the same hold as France’s Nathan Clair. All others, including Italy’s Lorenzo Carassio and Federico Andreolli had dropped off far earlier. Yes, this was a route that took no prisoners, didn’t give anything away, not even at the start. So much so that those who actually reached the roof were already pretty spent, such as Austria’s Georg Parma who suddenly “exploded” a fell a hold short of Peharc. America’s Nathaniel Coleman fared even worse, falling off what resembled a sort of Mariana Trench, But one thing was clear: patience was needed. This route was revealing itself little by little, every hold was a little conquest. Slovenia’s Simon Preskar was sucked down into the void there, on that black sloper that no one managed to stick. Belgium’s Simon Lorenzi caused a stir but then fell off at Peharc’s highpoint, halfway through the large roof. Yet this was enough to take the lead thanks to his better result in the quarterfinals. The successive athletes fell off that maximum highpoint; Switzerland’s Dimitri Vogt placed provisional 6th, while Slovenia’s Martin Bergant trailed just behind. Tomoa Narasaki from Japan sent the highly anticipated shockwaves around the stadium by climbing higher than everyone else, working his way well through the roof and then… he fell. His climb added three lengths (read holds) to the previous highpoint. Provisional first, the competition was alive and kicking. America’s Sean Bailey worked his way into 5th overall, behind Parma, and the results continued to remain very… compressed. Austria’s Bernhard Rock managed to push himself upwards, join Lorenzi and Peharc and finish provisional 2nd. Narasaki remained in the lead. Another 6 athletes were still to come though, meaning that by now the end was nigh.

Russia’s Sergei Bydtaev confirmed this by climbing decisively to equal Narasaki and take the lead. Francesco Bosco then came out of isolation. His climbing didn’t appear fluid, but he managed to resist, to correct some small mistakes all the way to below the roof, where he fell a “centimeter” from Peharc, Lorenzi and Röck. But he was nevertheless half a point from Parma who, at this stage, was provisional 6th. Japan’s Yuki Hada put in a startling performance to take the lead. At this point it was a battle for every centimeter… America’s Jesse Grupper reached the same height as Bosco but pushed him from his provisional 7th to provisional 8th… The last place in the finals. It was now time for the two Japanese. Naoki Shimatani was a climber many had hedged their bets on but today wasn’t going to be his day, he unravelled just below Parma and was out of the finals. The route, evidently, was a stern sufferfest, he slightest of mistakes cost dearly. Keiichiro Korenaga then took the stage; the last to climb he was the only athlete to have topped out on yesterday’s second qualification route. Seeing what had happened previously, anything could still happen. But not to Korenaga who, with determination and technique, climbed higher than the rest of the field, four holds in fact. He was followed by Yuki Hada (Jpn), Sergei Bydtaev (Rus), Narasaki Tomoa (Jpn), Bernhard Röck (Aut), Simon Lorenzi (Bel),  Anze Peaharc (Bel) and Jesse Grupper (Usa). The Italian Francesco Bosco was the first excluded from the final by the tightest of margins – he had reached the same hold as Grupper and was therefore excluded due to countback. In fact, many of the finalists were separated by their Qualification results. Such a similar level hadn’t been around for a long time.

Semifinals Lead Female Juniors
If the men’s event the holds were reached with the greatest of difficulties, those in the women’s competition certainly weren’t a joke, either. The girls climbed the lefthand wall, up a line that started to the right of the arete to then breach a small roof that barred the war to the upper section of the face. During the entire first half of the comp no one managed to get further than 2/3 height. Many fell far lower. So at  the 1/2 way stage the best were Switzerland’s Andrea Kümin, America’s Kyra Condie and, just below her, Slovenia’s Rebeka Kamin. The first to climb past this trio, by three holds, was Ievgeniia Kazbekova from the Ukraine. Austria’s Julia Fiser reached the same height and took the lead on countback. The same held true for Claudia Ghisolfi; the Italian climbed superbly to reach the same height as Fiser and then take the lead. This didn’t last long though, as Slovenia’s Tjasa Kalan took things a stage further, finally getting close to the top. Her miracle climb provided a ray of hope. And then it happened: Sweden’s Ottilia Kajsa Rosen clinched the long-awaited (and fully deserved) first top. It was as if a door had been opened, as her performance was immediately matched by France’s Julia Chanourdie. Then, to some surprise, Serbia’s Stasa Gejo (recently crowned Bouldering World Champion) fell low to place 10th overall. Out of the final. France’s Salomé Romain, the last of three to come out of isolation, climbed past Fiser and Ghisolfi to finish 6th. Anak Verhoeven didn’t want to take any risks (so to speak) and topped out, the third at this point. Many expected Austria’s Jessica Pilz (the provisional leader after the qualifiers) to top out. But it wasn’t to be, there was a real reason why so many had fallen off the route, evidently it wasn’t a walkover. And so the Austrian “only” managed to match Tjasia Kalan highpoint to confirm the Slovenian’s great performance. In the end those who qualified for the final were: Anak Verhoeven (BEL),  Julia Chanourdie (FRA), Ottilia Kajsa Rosen (SWE), Jessica Pilz (AUT), Tjasa Kalan (SLO), Salomé Romain (FRA), Claudia Ghisolfi (ITA), Julia Fiser (AUT).

by Vinicio Stefanello /

– Gallery 2015
– Video 2015
– Results 2015