Tom O'Halloran, the Oceania Olympic representative, who previously has done three 9a's, out of which two FA's, has done the FA of Cheesecake 9a in Nowra. It is 10 meters and 19 moves in total which took him 5-6 sessions to do. Interestingly, there are two extensions to be done making it an, at least, 40 meters long 9b+. "There was a move I couldn’t do last year and it was difficult to link more than a few moves together. I was able to quickly do the undone move this season and get some very good links on day one. In the end, it felt easy."
Please say something about the possible extensions?
There is a 15 meter 9a section that you can climb right after clipping the anchor of Cheesecake. A friend bolted it about 10 years ago and I spent 2 days cleaning it up last year as it had not been tried since. I then bolted a further extension to the top of the cave. Another 10-15m which, in itself will be perhaps 36+. So all in all the project will be bouldery 9a into sustained 9a into very bouldery and sustained 9a++. All separated by good rests. It could be Australia’s first 9b+ when it goes. I’m very excited to invest time into it when the Olympics is over.
Will you do any international comps before Tokyo?
No international comps in the lead up to the Olympics. Australia has very strict 2-week hotel quarantine rules when you arrive back from overseas. Being stuck in a hotel room for 2 weeks away from training is not worth it for a comp. I’m ok with it though. We have a state lead and speed comp coming up and there will be a local boulder comp right 10 days before I fly out.
How is your Olympic training preparation going on?
Olympic prep is coming along well. I just keep training hard and doing the best with what I have. We will do some comp simulations and I’ll do the two domestic competitions we have before I leave. I feel confident in the plan my coach has put together and my partner is a sport dietitian so I have my nutrition sorted too. I can’t wait to put on my uniform and compete with everyone else. It’s going to be great.
How much and how do you train and what about Speed training and PB
The last training periods were every day basically, 2-3 sessions a day. The intensity varied though. Not every day was max efforts. The next 2 months will be more about climbing and climbing well. Speed is 7.07 and I train it 2 sessions a week on the wall
How much financial support are you getting from your Olympic committee?
Nothing really. We are in a fringe sport globally and in Australia, it’s even more fringe. I’m doing my best to bring more public awareness to the sport. If the public gets psyched, the people with money start to notice, from there, things become easier. No excuses though 😀 I’m psyched with where I’m at and totally humbled to be the person stepping into new territory here in Aust. I hope to see more Australians on podiums soon!
So are you working or how do you get food on the table for your family?
I am working bits and pieces. I have also been fortunate to have people donate to a crowdfunding page to help me with preparations. I have had some sponsors help out with a small amount of financial support as well. It all adds up to get us through.
Claudia Ghisolfi, who last month did her first 8c+, has done one more by L'extremacura plus in Gravere. "Much easier than Noia which was my first 8c+. With a practically complete recovery after the first part 8a+ part, I would say more 8c/+. But still super happy!" (c) Fabio Fin
How many sessions did it take to send?
I did L'extremacura 8c in 2019, which was my first 8c. I did choose not to try the extension at the end that gives the 8c+ because the season to climb there was finished and competitions were around the corner. In 2020, cause of covid and other reasons, I didn't try it and this year I was at home for the same days. Usually, I live in Turin near this crag but in this period I live in Trentino, so I decided to try it in the afternoon/evening after the morning session. I did it in three afternoons 😊
James Pearson and Caroline Ciavaldini, professional and very successful climbers for many years, tell their story about becoming parents. "What started as a simple documentary about parenthood and climbing passion has become more of a discussion about risk and raising children in our world. It is interesting for parents, future parents, but also anyone who has been a child :)"
Caro explains that she was 22-years-old when her mum committed suicide and this is one reason why she also could accept taking risks being a mum. James says in the video, "We are still prepared to put ourselves into situations that might ultimately leave Arthur without parents."
Daniel Fuertes, who did his first 9b last year, has done the fourth ascent of Jorge Diaz-Rullo's Patanics 9a+ in Rodellar. In the 40+ ranking game, Dani is a superior #1. (c) Nacho Fuertes Olles
How is the route and how many sessions did it take etc?
I think about 15 days more or less. I haven’t done any special training, just trying it 2 or 3 days a week and 2 days bouldering indoors. I am very happy for sending this amazing “King line” of Rodellar. This route was my big goal for this year! It is a 50 meters endurance test piece. It has been a great physical and mental battle. Thanks to everyone who accompanied me.
Irina Kuzmenko has done her second 8B in the last month, Ayran in
Djan-tugan. It was put up by her boyfriend, Vadim Timonov last week. In 2019, both got the bronze in the European Championship. "Amazing boulder! Very hard for core! After I did this boulder felt like my whole upper body is stronger! So happy!!!" Video on her Insta
How was the process taking it down?
I tried it out during 2 sessions last year. It wasn’t actually sessions I think, more like 2 attempts and frustration:) So last year there was one move I couldn't do. This year I did all the moves in the 2nd session and then I had 3 more sessions to put it together and struggling with the very hot sun! :) The boulder is very hard and of course. My beta was special, because I’m not that tall and this changing on bad undercling...wow, super hard! Vadim told me that he’ll never do that 😂Thanks to him btw for the FA!
Molly Thompson-Smith, who did not make the semi in any of the two Boulder WC's in Salt Lake City, was much more successful outdoors having done Euro Roof Low Low 8B in Little Cottonwood Canyon, on her second session. Interestingly, also her first 8B, which she did last month, she did on her second session. In the 8a ranking game, the 23-year-old is #11. On her Insta, she does a shorter 8A+ version.
Natalia Grossman, who won last weekend, topped all four boulders on her first try. "Going first allowed to have fun the whole time, with no pressure", Grossman commented in the IFSC interview. She closed today’s semi-final in sixth place and was the lowest-seeded competitor in the final round. "I’m always trying to be as confident as possible, but the fourth problem seemed to be the hardest one. Winning last week’s event definitely gave me a little bit more confidence this time."
Janja Garnbret, who had won the last seven Boulder WC's she had participated in, needed one more attempt on the two first boulders. Brooke Raboutou got the bronze just like last weekend and was also crying together with her best friend Natalia like last weekend.
1. Natalia Grossman (19) USA 44 : 4 (c) Daniel Gajda
2. Janja Garnbret SLO 44 : 6
3. Brooke Raboutou (19) USA 34
4. Oriane Bertone (16) FRA 33 : 5
5. Stasa Gejo SRB 33 : 9
6. Miho Nonaka JPN 24
(For some reason, in competition climbing a first try send is considered a flash, although in practice the competitors have no beta, i.e. it is onsight. In Lead climbing, it is called a flash when you can sit and watch 50 climbers and having friends calling out beta.)
Sean Bailey, who was very close to having qualified for the Olympics, won his first World Cup and saved the show for the route setters by doing two boulders in the second Salt Lake City event. As a matter of fact, he would have won even if he had not made the top on the last boulder. The 25-year-old is also a very accomplished rock climber having done two 9a+ and one 8C+. Runner-up was Kokoro Fujii followed by Tomoa Narasaki, both doing one boulder. The remaining three did all together score just four zones. Noteworthy is that during both the qualification and semi-final, all 20 and six participants, respectively, making it to the next round, did at least all but one boulder.
"I don’t know, I can’t even think right now!" said an ecstatic Bailey moments after the final. "I never thought this day would come, and it’s crazy that it came. We had some pretty tough boulders, and I wanted to find some success on something again. The crowd hype was real!"
1. Sean Bailey USA 24 (2 Tops and 4 zones) (c) Vladek Zumr
2. Kokoro Fujii JPN 14
3. Tomoa Narasaki JPN 13
4. Yoshiyuki Ogata JPN 2
5. Zach Galla USA 1
6. Maximillian Milne GBR 1
Tomoa Narasaki, who was #2 in the qualification after Kokoro Fujii, topped all four problems in seven tries winning the semi ahead of Sean Bailay needing 13 attempts. Last out was Fujii and he was in the seventh position until some 30 seconds remained when he did come up with some new beta skipping one move and secured a spot in the final. Complete results (c) Vladek Zumr
It should be mentioned that Adam Ondra reported on Insta why he not participated. Here is part of his comments. "I hurt my shoulder in the finals last week. It is not too serious, I can still climb, but certain moves are painful and way too dangerous for me. If I decided to compete, I could likely get into the situation when I would either give up on a certain move or risk a serious injury."
Among the female, Janja Garnbret won again but surprisingly she failed on one boulder. Runner up, with two tops, was Miho Nonaka followed by Oriane Bertone. The fourth was Brooke Raboutou and she was actually the only one doing boulder #3. Noteworthy is that Brooke had only scored one zone in the two first boulders. Complete results The final starts 00.55 Euro Time
by 8a Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jens Larssen including also Analyses, Reviews, Training, Polls and Opinions etc.
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