IFSC Youth World Championships Innsbruck 2017 Combined Champions Crowned
After twelve days of competing at the highest level, elite youth athletes climbed on in the Combined finals
of IFSC Youth World Championships Innsbruck this weekend, concluding the competition.
Ovchinnikov, Tanii first Combined champions
Twelve Youth B athletes started the Combined finals on Saturday, racing up the Speed wall for a chance to
stand on the last podiums in Innsbruck. Semen Ovchinnikov of Russia was fastest in the quarterfinal
and semi-final. He faced-off against Ryoei Nukui of Japan in the last match, slipping early to give Nukui
the provisional lead in the Combined. In the final for the six female finalists, Futaba Ito and Natsuki Tanii
of Japan matched each other step-for-step, with Tanii earning the victory by fractions of a second.
There were only tops in the Bouldering final for male athletes. Rei Kawamata of Japan rose to provisional
first in the Combined with a perfect score of four flashes, conquering massive features and the dynos
of M4 on the first attempt. Ovchinnikov required only one more attempt for his four tops to place second.
The final for the female athletes started with a runand-jump which every finalist completed. A steep F2
and the bolt-hole clusters of F3 troubled a couple athletes, but not Ai Mori of Japan. She was the only
climber to flash every problem, including a grueling F4 with powerful roof moves. Tanii placed second by
attempts for the provisional lead in the Combined.
On the Lead wall, Hidemasa Nishida set an unmatched high point to finish third in the Combined. Kawamata fell lowest but placed second with his Bouldering victory and Speed score, and Ovchinnikov became the first Combined champion in Innsbruck by scoring well across all three disciplines. Ito, Mori and Tanii closed out the Youth B action. Ito fought the pump to within a few moves from the top for third place, Mori impressed with the first top for second, and Tanii concluded the round with a final
top to surpass Mori in the Combined rankings.
Stöckler wins first gold medal for Austria
The nonstop action on Saturday continued with the Combined finals in Juniors. American Kai Lightner
squeezed past Kai Harada of Japan by five hundredths of a second in a quick small final.
Yoshiyuki Ogata got off to a good start in the big final but his Japanese teammate Meichi Narasaki, the only
finalist to climb below eight seconds, finished strong to place first. Claire Buhrfeind, one of the Speed
favorites, fell in the female quarterfinal against Aika Tajima of Japan. Tajima was bested in the small final
by Laura Stöckler, racing in front of her home crowd. Her compatriot Franziska Sterrer slipped against
Speed standout Iuliia Panteleeva of Russia in the big final. Panteleeva had been fast throughout the round
and secured an early lead in the Combined.
Narasaki and Ogata matched their superb Speed results in Bouldering as the only finalists to top the first three problems, with Narasaki placing first by attempts. Harada and Lightner couldn’t solve the slab of M1 but maintained strong positioning in the Combined after cruising past the powerful and dynamic moves of M2 and M3. The first problem proved the difference maker for the female finalists when everyone solved the jump start of F3 and failed
to top F2 and F4. Stöckler flashed the tenuous slab problem and placed first, followed by Panteleeva who
solved the concluding match perfectly but found one less bonus hold. Margo Hayes of the United States
also topped and finished in third place by attempts.
Lead climbing under the lights concluded the first
day of Combined finals in Innsbruck. William Bosi of
Great Britain fought to a high point which stood for
most of the round. Ogata later surpassed Bosi’s
mark, leaving a small margin of error for Narasaki.
First in Bouldering and Speed, Narasaki needed
fourth or better to win the Combined. He did exactly
that, battling fatigue after a week of intensive sport
climbing for the victory. For the female athletes,
Buhrfeind set a formidable mark, but Stöckler stuck
the crux dyno and continued onward for the
Combined victory in front of a roaring home crowd
Next step taken towards YOG Buenos Aires 2018
In Youth A, the top 20 male athletes and top 20 female athletes at IFSC Youth World Championships
Innsbruck advanced to Combined finals, a major qualification event for Youth Olympic Games Buenos
Aires 2018. 13 Youth A athletes qualified for selection to these Games, in accordance with the rules listed in
the qualification system, to be announced after the confirmation from the National Olympic Committees.
Speed finals took place on Saturday and results were determined by time, with two heats per athlete.
Georgiy Morozov of Russia was the fastest male athlete, posting the only time below seven seconds
(6.92). French star Sam Avezou joined the handful of athletes scaling the 15-meter Speed wall within 8
seconds, a group that also included Cristian Dorigatti of Italy and Chinese teammates DiChong Huang and
YuFei Pan. Among female athletes, their compatriot YiLing Song registered the lowest time (9.05).
Aleksandra Kalucka of Poland and Russian teammates Elena Krasovskaia and Luiza Emeleva also
stopped the timer in under than ten seconds.
The Combined finals concluded today with the next rounds in Bouldering and Lead. Most finalists
flashed the first problem, leaving the remaining three problems to determine the results. Half of the
athletes maintained friction on the volumes of M2 to the top, including Nathan Martin of France and Filip Schenk of Italy. Both athletes continued their streak of flashes on the next problems, sticking the onehanded
dyno of M3 and keeping their composure on the walk across M4 for a perfect scorecard. Martin
maintained an edge in the Combined with a better Speed performance. For the female athletes, again
almost every athlete topped the first problem and multiple finalists fought past the ladder of blocks on
F2. Brooke Raboutou and Ashima Shiraishi of the United States joined three other stars at three tops
after flashing the following power problem. Only Austrian Sandra Lettner topped all four problems,
showing a diverse set of strength and technique on the last problem to take the lead in the Combined.
Valentina Aguado of Argentina was the only other athlete to top F4 and placed second in Bouldering.
The towering Lead wall in Innsbruck was the final challenge for the best Youth A sport climbing
athletes in the world. Shuta Tanaka of Japan set a high point on the burly last route which no finalist
could match, finishing sixth in the Combined results. Avezou marched to within a few holds of Tanaka’s
mark, taking the provisional lead in the Combined. When Keita Dohi of Japan fell short, Schenk needed
second place or better to win the Combined. He climbed strong to equal Avezou’s score, but a slower
time (3.58 minutes compared to 3.20) bumped him down to third in Lead and second in the Combined,
handing Avezou the crown. Petar Ivanov of Bulgaria rounded out the podiumwith quality performances in
all three disciplines. All eyes were on Lettner in the female final. She maintained her lead in the
Combined, falling just beneath the high point of her teammate Eva Maria Hammelmüller. Raboutou
matched Lettner, but again time separated the athletes (4.04 minutes compared to 3.45) and
secured the Combined victory for Lettner. Shiraishi closed the competition with one hand slipping off the
top hold for first in Lead, second in Combined, and Raboutou rounded out the podium in third place.
More highlights can be found on the event page, and please click here for the full Combined results.
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