2013 Munich Bouldering World Cup – Finals

The sky finally cleared up in Munich and sunset light hit the wall as some of the best boulderers in the world battled for the last medals of the season. In the end, Rei Sugimoto got his first gold medal ever and Anna Stöhr, in a legendary streak, won her 7th world cup of 2013.

Dmitry Sharafutdinov getting ready to climb

The finalists
Semifinals left us with a hard-to-predict lineup for the final round. It included habitual finalists (Sharafutdinov, Stöhr, Puccio, Gelmanov, Coxsey) mixed with some who, having been in finals many times, are not usual favorites (Shalaguin, Saurwein, Tauporn, Sugimoto, Sandoz) and also some “fresh” faces: Dinara Fakhritdinova, current European Lead Champion, Sachi Amma, current Overall Lead World Cup Champion and Petra Klingler, who hasn’t been in finals since 2011.

The venue
In Munich’s subway, posters with Jan Hojer announcing the competition have been reminding the locals about the world class spectacle that was coming to the city. And the city responded by filling the venue with enthusiastic fans that would cheer on every attempt any of the climbers would make (much louder if that climber happened to be German finalist Thomas “Shorty” Tauporn).

The Olympic stadium in Munich is a work of art. Its beautiful and hypnotic roof provides the perfect cover for a climbing competition: protects from the elements while letting the light through; during the day the place is always full of natural light.

The showdown
4 problems were to decide the results. Chief route setter Manuel Hassler prepared dynamic and athletic moves. Even in the slab sections climbers had to run and jump.

Women began with a fingery problem, not too overhaging and full of orange volumes. Many girls got really close to sending it but only the two with a World Championship under their belt managed to send it (Sandoz and Stöhr).

Men faced a problem that proved to be too hard. Nobody could stick the second movement, a gaston to a very slopey volume. Since nobody got to the bonus this problem didn’t affect the result at all.

The second problem for the girls was the easiest. Some small holds, an awkward throw and some easy moves to the top. All but Sandoz solved it. Stöhr, Puccio, Coxsey and Fakhritdinova flashed it.

#2 for the men was, to my taste, the best problem of the final. Nice moves, doable but none of them easy. Sugimoto, Sharafutdinov and Tauporn sent it. Gelmanov got to the bonus.

The third problem was a dicey run and jump for the guys and a roof problem, with tons of body tension, for the girls.

On men’s side, everyone solved their problem, being the number of attempts the important factor (they ranged from the flash of Tauporn to the 7 attempts of Amma).

Women’s #3 required full body strength, lots of it. And so it was that the only ones capable of sending it were Stöhr and Puccio, probably the strongest girls in the field right now.

#4 for the girls was another slab-run and jump. The hold they had to latch on to was a huge jug but it was placed behind a volume in such a way that the swing was quite violent. Despite that, everyone stuck the move. The crux was higher up, with some hard press moves in the dihedral. Stöhr, Puccio, Coxsey and Saurwein solved it.

The podium for the girls was Stöhr (4 tops), Puccio (3 tops) and Coxsey (2 tops). This finals also settled the overall podium which is Stöhr, Noguchi and Puccio.

Full results (women)
Overall ranking (women)

Men’s last problem was really hard to read. It started under the roof, standing facing the wall. From there they had to find their way out of the roof, with only two small holds and a big volume to use. Only three climbers got to the bonus (Shalagin, Gelmanov and Sugimoto). Those three then faced a tricky dihedral. Shalagin fell maneuvering up there, Gelmanov and Sugimoto got to the top.

The podium for the guys was Sugimoto (3 tops), Tauporn (2 tops in 4 attempts) and Gelmanov (2 tops in 5 attempts).

For Sugimoto this is his first gold medal and it was obvious that the guy was very happy. From the moment he matched hands on the last top he displayed a huge smile that lasted the rest of the evening. He won it square, with good climbing and tons of physical and mental strength, congratulations.

For the men the overall ranking was already decided in the semis (according to Sean McColl, Rustam Gelmanov could have made podium), it is Sharafutdinov, Schubert and McColl.

Full results (men)
Overall ranking (men)

Recap
The overall champions were already known but that didn’t prevent this last World Cup from being an amazing competition. Even Stöhr and Sharafutdinov, who didn’t have that much at stake, fought until the last attempt of the last problem (quite literally).

Big names out of semis, big names out of finals and fresh faces in both rounds. Good problems, a perfect organization (competition-wise, I have some complaints about the press “room” :P) and a big, committed audience. Total success.

People watching the 2013 Munich Bouldering World Cup

Munich will host the Bouldering World Championship next year and my hands are already sweating; this city has a taste for world class bouldering.

And if you want more…

Next stop: The European World Championship in Eindhoven!

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