Kai Harada is the new Bouldering World Champion!

The Bouldering Title of the men stays in Japanese hands: 19-year-old Kai Harada climbed his way to the World Championships title in a completely sold-out Olympiaworld. The Korean Jongwon Chon won silver. Bronze was awarded to the Slowenian Gregor Vezonik.

6 finalists competed over the Bouldering World Champion-Title in an Olympiaworld, which was filled to the last seat. After the Title-Defender Tomoa Narasaki had to leave the competition in the semi-finals, it was definite that there would be a new World Champion. The boulderers delivered a thrilling match until the very end. The route-setters had set perfect rounds: they were exciting to observe, and the difficulties were divisioned perfectly.

The first boulder, a triple dyno, was completed by all of the finalists. The Korean Jongwon Chon only needed one try, which is why he was the intermediate number one. There were 4 tops in the second problem. Here Kai Harada was able to flash the Boulder, which is why he was the intermediate leader. After the third Boulder all of the finalists still had chances for the title, apart from the Brit Nathan Phillips.

Kai Harada takes his chance and is the new World Champion

Before the last Boulder Kai Harada was on intermediate rank 1 and his fate was in his own hands. He seized the chance and flashed the Boulder. When he reached the top, he knew that he had secured the title. Back on the mat, he cried tears of joy. “I am simply speechless. I was really focused and did my best”, Harada told the TV interviewer while the crowd was roaring.

Gregor Vezonik was the only other finalist who was also able to solve the last problem. Therefore, the Slowenian was awarded bronze. Silver went to Jongwon Chon, because he needed less tries for the 4 zones than Vezonik. The great entertainer Chon, who won a World Cup in 2016 in Innsbruck, was delighted about silver: “Today is my best day! In 2017, I won the Overall World Cup, but this year, I didn't get on track at first. The World Championships are the most important competition of the year. I may not have won, but I enjoyed the competition a lot. The crowd was fantastic! Thank you so much!”

Gregor Vezonik explained his success with the good dynamic in the Slovenian team: „We are really strong this year. We are a great team and push each other. After I won the World Cup in Munich, a medal was my goal.” Fourth place went to Keita Watabe. Fujii came in fifth and Nathan Phillips sixth.


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