Report Lead Female Semifinal

© Giulio Malfer

Semifinal Lead Female Youth B

The female Under 16 competition, which took place at the same time as the male event, tackled the large wall on the right. The one that hosts the huge roof, that overhanging wave, that has written the history of Rock Master. Many of the world’s best got “unstuck” on that upside down climbing. So it was interesting to see how the climbers fared today; who would manage to climb over the lip and up to the top? More than half the competitors were needed to find out. Croatia’s Jani Zoraj had climbed up to the roof, Japan’s Karin Kojima had fallen just below her while Italy’s Giorgia Tesio, truly determined today, had fallen 4 holds lower still. Things suddenly change when Laura Rogora starts to climb. The Italian, 10th yesterday, is simply superb today. Clearly so, right from the outset. She climbs, higher and higher, through the roof even…towards the top and… falls. Astounding. Provisional first. It’s now time for the best 10. Russia’s Elena Krasovskaia falls just as Zoraj. Her teammate Viktoriia Meshkova just a hair’s breadth further. Slovenia’s Mia Krampl produces an inspired climb but falls shortly before Rogora, just when the top seems within her grasp. But she’s qualified for the final. Austria’s Sandra Lettner falls lower, while Slovenia’s Vita Lukan tips the scales close to Zoraj. Eva Maria Hammelmüller tumbles lower, while Eliska Adamovska from the Czech Republic reaches the same height at Zoraj and Adamovskaia. At this point only the two Americans remain. The first, Brooke Raboutou,climbs past the Zoraj, Krasovskaia and Adamovska trio but then fails to negotiate the roof (the famous wave) and falls, significantly lower than Rogora and Krampl.

When Ashima Shiraishi enters the arena, the second American and last athlete in this heat, everyone hopes in small “miracle” top. In these World Championships she’s already won the Boulder title by sending all 12 competition problems. In the Lead she continued with 2 tops in 2 routes… And now… now she’s off. The first section seems nothing other than a mere formality. Then she reaches the roof, twists and turns, clips the rope into the carabiners, cuts loose and… continues quickly upwards, above the void ever upwards. To top out with huge safety margin and to a huge applause. So Saturday’s 8 finalist are, in this order: Ashima Shiraishi (Usa), Mia Krampl (Slo), una grandissima Laura Rogora, Brooke Raboutou (Usa), Eliska Adamovska (Cze), Elena Krasovskaia (Rus), Jani Zoraj (Cro) and Viktoriia Meshkova (Rus).


© Giulio Malfer

Semifinal Lead Female Youth A

In the beginning the Under 18 girls seem unable to solve the riddle. At the halfway stage no one had managed to reach the roof that bars the way to the upper section of the route. Japan’s Misato Nishikori and Yukari Nakamura had fallen off the same hold and led the provisional ranking, a fair few holds higher than America’s Melina Costanza. All the others had fallen far lower. These included, unfortunately for Italy, Eva Scroccaro. Michelle Hulliger from Switzerland provided a shock to the system by climbing a bit higher than the two Japanese. But still a long way from finding… the solution. America’s Grace McKeehan provided some clues by climbing two holds above Hulliger’s highpoint in her attempt to exit that “damn” overhanging roof. Her teammate Claire Buhrfeind even manages to climb three holds higher before giving up, completely spent. Italy’s Ilaria Scolaris climbed superbly, completely concentrated in an attempt to reach Buhrfeind’s highpoint, but despite putting in a noteworthy performance her energies ran out and she fell slightly lower. Asja Gollo put in a beautiful and determined climb only to fall off the same hold as her teammate. Three athletes remained… and provisional second and third were already Italian! Aika Tajima from Japan didn’t wait to be asked twice and, without further ado, slowly but surely travelled in the overtaking lane and fell there where no one had fallen before: 5 holds higher than Buhrfeind. The Japanese’s climb had been outstanding, so much so that America’s Margo Hayes failed to match it and had to make do with one hold higher than her teammate. The time had now come for the last climb. Janja Garnbret entered the arena. The Slovenian champion warmed up on the lower section. The strolled through the roof, taking time to clip and “recover” slightly. Then she set off and – one lock-off after the next – made her way to the top. Relaxed, splendid, worthy of a huge applause! Once again it is she who leads the field, just like she did when she won the Bouldering World Championship.

Garnbret, naturally, is the big favorite for the Lead title. In Saturday’s Final she will have to watch out though for all the rest. Starting with 2nd placed Aika Tajima (Jpn), followed by the Americans Margo Hayes and Claire Buhrfeind, the Italians Asja Gollo and Ilaria Scolaris, the third American Grace McKeehan and Switzerland’s Michelle Hulliger.


Claudia Ghisolfi © Giulio Malfer

Semifinali 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 /

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