Today in Arco (Trento, Italy) the 34rd Rock Master show started with KO Boulder. An elimination-competition on four spectacular boulders, surely difficult yet amazing.
Laura Rogora master women competition, Adam Ondra is the best among men, yet not a cup of tea for neither of them.
Ready, set, climb (11 a.m.) and immediately, four exiciting “tops” by the transalpine Fanny Gibert, by the Austrian Jessica Pilz, by the Italian Laura Rogora and by the British Molly Thompson-Smith. At the unexpected second attempt, the awaited Slovenian Vita Lukan and Mia Krampl, who then made it; three unsuccessful attempts for the Czech Adamovska, the Italian Giorgia Tesio, both out.
At the second boulder, Gibert, Rogora and Lukan show their best moves on the first time, Molly Thompson-Smith surrenders after three failed attempts. Pilz and Krampl fight hard for the third position: neither of them reach the top at the first two attempts, but they make it at the last one. Pilz goes on after judges’ check on the score between first and second boulder. Mia Krampl, winner in 2019 and Molly Thomposon-Smith are out.
Pilz, Lukan and Rogora show up before the last boulder. The three of them, with different moves, reach the top at the very first act. The jury needs to analyse all the tops reached during the whole competition. Rogora wins followed by Vita Lukan and Jessica Pilz.
At 3 p.m. it’s men time: just Ondra reaches the top at the first time, everyone else have to surrender. At the second attempt, the Czech Stranik makes it, another turn and Flohé passes too.
Four climbers should have continued after the second boulder, but there are the Italians Schenk, Ghisolfi, Piccolruaz and Fossali with the same score following Skofic. Unexpectedly, all eight climbers passes to the next boulder, also hard, with no top reached by anyone. Even the claimed Ondra makes it at the last attempt. To the next block: the Czech champion Ondra, Flohé, Stranik and the South Tyrolean Schenk, invited at last yesterday, to replace the Austrian Uznik, Covid-positive.
Climbers claim the fourth boulder as the most difficult one. Ondra, with breath-taking moves reaches the top at the very first time: the audience cheers amazed. The other Czech is almost at the top, but fall; Schenk is close too. Stranik falls again one-move away from the top, it’s time for Schenk. His muscles tremble and he fails midway. Third attempt: Stranik slips almost immediately, so does Schenk.
A very deserved success for Ondra, second place for Stranik and third for Schenk.
Ondra arm in arm with Rogora are the rulers of Rock Master KO Boulder 2021, but Lead Duel is on tonight, and it is Rock Master’s jewel.

KO Boulder Contest – Men
1. Adam Ondra (CZE); 2. Martin Stranik (CZE); 3. Filip Schenk (ITA); 4. Yannik Flohè (GER); 5. Michael Piccolruaz (ITA); 6. Domen Skofic (SLO); 6. Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA); 6. Ludovico Fossali (ITA)

KO Boulder Contest – Women
1. Laura Rogora ITA; 2. Vita Lukan SLO; 3. Jessica Pilz AUT; 4. Fanny Gibert FRA; 5. Mia Krampl SLO; 6. Molly Thompson-Smith GBR; 7. Giorgia Tesio ITA; 8. Eliska Adamovska CZE