2012 Recap – Best Male Competition Boulderers

The IFSC logoFew weeks ago we listed our 2012 top 5 best female climbers in IFSC bouldering competitions. Let’s do the same with the guys, shall we? Please bear in mind that this is based mostly on my personal opinion and is just for fun. You can be sure that I’ve struggled to make this list. The top 5 guys were easy, the order was not (specially the top 3!). Don’t get offended if your personal favorite doesn’t make the list (or if he’s not where you think he belongs!).

5 – Sean McColl (CAN)

What a year this guy had. Fifth place in the Overall Bouldering World Cup Ranking, fourth in the Overall Lead World Cup Ranking, fourth in the Bouldering World Championship, silver medal in the Lead World Championship and Overall World Champion. He also won La Sportiva Legends Only and the Adidas Rockmaster competition. In the World Cups he got 2 silver medals and 1 bronze. Had he started the season a bit stronger (stronger results-wise, in the literal sense of “strong” he started, continued and finished on a high note) he could have been way higher on this list.

4 – Jakob Schubert (AUT)

This guy could also have been higher on the list had he participated on the Bouldering World Championship in Paris. He was too busy becoming the Lead World Champion :P

Schubert has participated in way less international bouldering competitions than any other on the list. In 2011 he participated in just 2 World Cups (but he got silver in one of them…). He has been more of a lead climber but, in 2012, he made finals in all but one Bouldering World Cup and got 2 medals (1 gold and 1 bronze). In the overall he ended in an impressive third place.

3-Dmitrii Sharafutdinov (RUS)

Fourth on the Overall World Cup Ranking and World Champion for the third time. He also got gold in Arco Rockmaster. What else can be said? Dmitrii may be the strongest competition climber on Earth.

How come the World Champion isn’t in the #1 spot? 2 reasons: 1- the competition is fierce (the #2 and #1 guys are nothing but bouldering legends) and 2- he “only” got 2 medals (1 gold and 1 silver) in World Cups.

2- Kilian Fischhuber (AUT)

This could had been his best year by far but instead is just another legendary season full of success, medals (5: 2 golds, 2 silvers and 1 bronze) and impressive performances.

He ended up in second place both in the World Championship and in the Overall Bouldering World Cup ranking (he was tied for the gold until the last World Cup). During the finals of the World Championship, after he flashed the second problem, I was sure he was about to become World Champion. Sharafutdinov had taken way too many attemps on the first 2 problems, McColl had to be tired (after competing every single day!) and the rest were one problem behind. Somehow problem #3 changed everything. Somehow Fischhuber is “just” our #2.

1 – Rustam Gelmanov (RUS)

Gelmanov in a IFSC Bouldering World Cup

Gelmanov during finals in Munich 2012. Picture from Gelmanov’s Facebook Page.

In 2012 Gelmanov was the most regular competitor. He did almost everything right. Overall Bouldering World Cup winner, bronze medal in the World Championship and silver in Arco Rockmaster (he lost to Sharafutdinov in the superfinal). Finger strength, technique, confidence, he has it all. He made finals in every single international competition he entered and missed podium just once. He ended up collecting 5 medals: 2 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze.

Honorable Mentions

Many strong guys didn’t make the top 5 but are worth mentioning. People like Gillaume Glairon Mondet (several finals, won the Tierra Boulder Battle in Norway), Rei Sugimoto (again, several finals, including the World Championship) or Jan Hojer (bronze in Vail, finals in Paris).

Many other had memorable moments: Thomas Caleyron, Edward Feehally, Stewart Watson, Thomas Tauporn, Jeremy Bonder… I could go on giving names but I think the top dogs have been mentioned so it’s time to wrap it up.

Less than two months for the first World Cup of 2013!

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