The IFSC Youth World Championships take place over 12 days this year, with hundreds of young sport climbing athletes participating from all around the globe. After 5 days of action, the final competition for Bouldering medals concluded tonight. In the end, Japan won nine medals and the United States won four, claiming thirteen of the eighteen available.
Superb double-flashes at Youth A finals
Despite rain in the early days of the event, a large crowd turned out for the Youth A Bouldering finals on Friday night. All male finalists topped M1 and M2, and the podium came down to the final problem. Mizuki Tajima of Japan flashed for third place, requiring one less attempt to complete his three tops than Petar Ivanov of Bulgaria. When Tajima’s teammate Keita Dohi topped as well to take the lead, Schenk needed one final top to win. He duly did so, ending the evening with a perfect score of four flashes.
The female Youth A final was equally exciting. Luiza Emeleva jumped into an early lead with the only flash of F1, which most finalists topped. Ashima Shiraishi of the United States scored the sole top of F2, and only her teammate Brooke Raboutou also reached the bonus hold. All three athletes topped F3, and the podium again came down to the final problem.
Emeleva and Raboutou secured spots on the podium with quick tops, and Laura Rogora of Italy flashed for fourth place. Last on the mats, Shiraishi topped alongside Schenk for two superb double flashes to end the round and earn the first gold medals in Innsbruck. Youth Bouldering champion since 2015, Shiraishi has yet to lose an IFSC youth event.
Johanna Holfeld of Germany and Russian Iuliia Panteleeva started strong in the Juniors finals the following day. Holfeld’s flash of F1 was enough to put her ahead of Panteleeva for third place on the podium. Maya Madere and Claire Buhrfeind from the USA were the only two women to claim two tops, solving the compression of F3 and precise moves of F4.Buhrfeind required less attempts then Madere for both problems, winning her the gold medal. Austrian Laura Stöckler finished the night with a top of the last problem in front of her home crowd.
The male final also opened with a challenging slab. A flash from Yoshiyuki Ogata of Japan put him in a fantastic position for the rest of the round. The physical M2 proved to be even more challenging than the slab, with only Ogata’s teammate Meichi Narasaki finding the top. After a difficult start, Austrian Jan-Luca Posch burst back onto the scene and took third place by flashing M3 and M4. Narasaki and Ogata also topped the two problems, with Ogata claiming his second youth title in Bouldering by attempts. American Kai Lightner also topped the final
two problems to finish in fourth place.
5 medals for Japan in Youth B Bouldering
The last medals in Bouldering were awarded tonight in Youth B. Again, slab problems began the round. All the male finalists topped, and Thomas Podolan of Austria took an early lead with a quick ascent. Power moves on poor footholds stumped everyone on M2, and four athletes were tied at two tops apiece after solving the compression moves of M3. Podolan was first to stick the beginning dyno of M4, but couldn’t mantle to the top hold and finished in sixth place. Rei Kawamata of Japan breezed through the dyno and flashed the problem to take the gold medal.
Russian Semen Ovchinnikov and Kawamata’s teammate Ryoei Nukui also completed the problem to place second and third, respectively, by attempts. Nishida finished in fourth place, topping after time expired. In the female final, Canadian Indiana Chapman flashed the opening slab. It was her only top and earned her fourth place, the best Bouldering finish ever for a Canadian athlete at the IFSC Youth World Championships. Futaba Ito of Japan took the lead with a flash of F2, a lead that she never gave up. Ito was the only finalist to stick the dyno beginning F3 and promptly continued to the top. She then powered past the steep features of F4 on her first attempt to make it a sweep of all four problems for the gold medal. Her teammate Natsuki Tanii also finished with a flash to place second, and Saki Kikuchi rounded out the podium to give Japan all three medals.