Vail, Colorado, called the World Cup circuit to the tenth edition of the Bouldering World Cup. Originally notorious for the physical nature of the problems, the event venue waited with many vertical or slabby walls, which yielded a particularly technical round in the men's qualifiers group B, where 3 out of 5 problems were slabs. Jakob Schubert, who along with other strong Europeans missed semi-finals called the setting in this round "not diverse at all" on Instagram. He continued with "some might say that's the new style of bouldering, but in my opinion it's bad setting. Bouldering shouldn't only be about standing on your feet.. (...) I like to fight in boulders, feel the physical strain. Sure slabby boulders are part of the game but they shouldn't be the most important thing in my opinion. Crimps, slopers, pinches, big moves, campusing, jumps, coordination, toe hooks, heel hooks, power endurance,...there are so many things, that's what I love about this sport. To be fair, it was difficult for the routesetters because the wall in Vail is not great and they did a very good job in both semis and finals. But still I wanna shout out to all routesetters to try to set more divers in the future in all rounds and especially also in Qualifiers, I don't think the randomness that some Qualification rounds had, are good for this sport."
The biggest news after the women's semi finals were that Janja Garnbret (SLO) had missed finals. It was the first time in her entire career that this happened to her. Finals were yet another display of the exciting nature of the 2017 competitions. The great American competitor Alex Puccio made her first international appearance in 2017 and immediately made it into finals. She took the lead by flashing the powerful first problem. She couldn't conserve her lead for the rest of the finals, which saw Shauna Coxsey (GBR) win in front of Akiyo Noguchi and Miho Nonaka (JPN). On the last boulder, Coxsey had three tries to do a big dyno, kept her nerves and executed the move on her first try to secure the win.
In the men's finals, Jongwon Chon's prowess on technical and physical problems alike secured him the win in front of Meichi Narasaki and Yoshiyuki Ogata (both JPN). Vail is a good place for Ogate, in 2016 he had already finished 4th. This year, the 19-year-old took his first ever podium in a World Cup. 18-year-old Meichi Narasaki, who is Tomoa Narasaki's younger brother, also finished on the podium for the first time in his career. In the men's finals in particular, the route setters Percy Bishton, Manuel Hassler and Chris Danielson managed to set a round that was both diverse and entertaining, and separated the competitors perfectly.
Watabe continued his finals streak, it was his fifth in a row. In the overall ranking, he is only 6 points ahead of Chon after finishing 6th in Vail, quickly followed by Alexey Rubtsov, who is only 25 points behind Watabe. The last two events of the season are set to be extremely interesting.
1. Jongwon Chon KOR 4t9 4b8
2. Meichi Narasaki JPN 3t6 3b5
3. Yoshiyuki Ogata JPN 3t11 4b7
4. Aleksei Rubtsov RUS 2t5 3b8
5. Kokoro Fujii JPN 2t6 4b10
6. Keita Watabe JPN 1t3 1b3
1. Shauna Coxsey GBR 3t4 4b5
2. Akiyo Noguchi JPN 3t6 4b6
3. Miho Nonaka JPN 3t7 4b7
4. Alex Puccio USA 3t10 4b10
5. Katja Kadic SLO 1t3 2b4
6. Petra Klingler SUI 0t 1b2
20.000 FREIWILLIGE ARBEITSSTUNDEN
500 KG CHALK
Climb. Come together. Celebrate!