Europe's sport climbing stars start their season

Published on 9 May 2022

The second instalment of the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s World Cup series took place in the South Korean capital Seoul. And with that, for the first time since October 2019, a World Cup was held on Asian soil again. 210 athletes arrived to secure important rankings in speed and boulder.

Against a spectacular backdrop of three man-made waterfalls, 74 climbers warmed up for the first major speed competition of the year, including 39 men and 35 women. While 62 men and 65 women took on the boulder problems.

Speed - Mirosław smashes own world record

The trip from Poland to South Korea was worth it for Aleksandra Mirosław, even after the qualification round. The speed specialist pulverised her world record set at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The new world’s best of 6.64 seconds is exactly two tenths below the previous world record. In an exclusive interview, the Polish speed climber told us back in February that she wanted to break her own world record this year: “Maybe in Munich. The European Championships in Munich will be my main start. Probably it will be the best competition for me this year.” The full interview, more on her beta and her goals for this season can be found here.

In the final, Mirosław showed up in impeccable form again to win the title, marking the sixth time in her career she has won at an IFSC World Cup. The 28-year-old beat Emma Hunt from the USA in the final race with an impressive time of 6.72 seconds - which would also have been a world record the day before.

Her compatriot Aleksandra Kałucka finished third, beating Franziska Ritter of Germany in the race for bronze.

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Boulder - Flash to gold

France's Oriane Bertone followed up her phenomenal semifinal with a second-place finish in the final. The 17-year-old only just failed to top out the third boulder when she slipped centimetres short of the top. Her final score was thus three tops and four zones, which later proved to be decisive. Nevertheless, the young athlete was satisfied with the third World Cup medal of her career.

The US women Natalia Grossman (four tops, four zones) and Brooke Raboutou (three tops, three zones) completed the podium. Grossman capped off a fantastic performance with a flash on problem number four, easily solving all 13 boulder problems from qualification, semifinals and finals.

The Serbian Staša Gejo finished just off the podium with two tops and four zones. Camilla Moroni from Italy placed fifth with one top and two zones.

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DOlympic champion and World Cup record holder Janja Garnbret did not compete in Seoul. After her emotional victory of the first World Cup of the season in Meiringen (Switzerland), the Slovenian has decided not to compete in further World Cups for the time being.

Adam Ondra was not present in South Korea either. Instead, the Czech competed at the European Cup in Prague a few days earlier and took the gold medal there. The only non-Japanese finalist in Seoul - Frenchman Paul Jenft - finished fourth (two tops, four zones). Both Tomoa Narasaki and Kokoro Fujii topped all four boulders. But Fujii won against his compatriot due to his lower number of attempts.

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Sport Climbing