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Rubtsov to Tokyo after Leadspeed drama

Saturday, 28 November

Rubtsov to Tokyo after Leadspeed drama

Aleksei Rubtsov, Boulder World Champion in 2009, got the ticket to Moscow after a Leadspeed drama that will go to the record books. First out is William Bosi who touches the final jug and then Sergei Luzhetski tops with 3.09 left on the clock. Rubtsov is third last out but as his best ever Lead WC result is #15 and that he was #16 in the Lead qualification, realistically he is fighting for the bronze overall even if he was #5 in Speed and #1 in Boulder. The Russian sets out in Lead Speed mode and does the Lead climb of his lifetime touching the final jug much faster than Bosi.

Next out is the big favourite Sasha Lehmann who needs to top out faster than Sergei in order to get the ticket. After beating the Russian with some 20 seconds the commentator says he thinks this is enough and Sasha's name is on top of the provisional results. Then Yuval Shelma starts running up the route and as he tops out even faster, Rubtsov is the lucky man going to Tokyo and Sasha need to wait until Paris 2024.

Congratulation the Olympian he responds in a text message. "Amazing moment, no words... Yuval is my hero." (c) Nikita Tsarev

1. Aleksei Rubtsov RUS 5 - 1 - 4 (2.42) = 20
2. Sascha Lehmann SUI 4 - 3 - 2 (2.31) = 24
3. Sergei Luzhetski RUS 2 - 5 - 3 (2.51) = 30
4. Nikolai Iarilovets RUS 3 - 2 - 6 = 36
5. Yuval Shelma ISR 8 - 6 - 1 (2.20) = 48
6. Marcin Dzienski POL 1 - 8 - 8 = 64
7. Alex Khazanov ISR 7 - 4 - 7 = 196
8. William Bosi GBR 6 - 7 - 5 (3.20) = 210

The 32-year-old had no sponsors until 2015, besides free shoes from La Sportiva. In his 8a scorecard he has logged a dozen 8B+ and harder and two 9a's out of which one from this summer. Here are some interesting comments from Rubtsov published in Innsbruck 2018

"The brain is the most important part in climbing. Maybe not in speed (laughs), but in bouldering for sure. In Europe, every coach thinks that he's the smartest one and his system is the best. They are authoritarian. But they should understand that they know nothing and start their education from zero. I can't tell you what I do, because that is my secret. Laughs. You need to widen your repertoire to improve, not focusing on small things, but on the big picture... It is better for me to be alone. You could maybe remove the bonus, even. You can do the boulder, or you can't. Bouldering is good. One bonus, two bonuses, ten bonuses, ... what is that? It's not Bouldering."

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Meshkova to Tokyo being faster

Saturday, 28 November

Meshkova to Tokyo being faster

Eliska Adamovska was the last female out as she won the qualification. If she tops out and is faster than Viktoriia Meshkova, Stasa Gejo will get the ticket to Tokyo. The clock is ticking but all the way from the start she is not as fast but even when Eliska tops out one minute slower, nobody knows who made it Tokyo (besides the guys keeping track of the time). After some 40 seconds, the Russian coaches start to scream and the camera shows Meshkova starting to understand what happened. (c) Nikita Tsarev

Previous in the week, she won Gold both in Lead and Speed. Based on her previous World Cup results, this must be the biggest sensation ever in competition climber. Last year she did eleven Boulder and Lead WCs and the 20-year-old's best results were #16.

Dmitry Sharafutdinov, the Russian training coach who has won three World Championships and who is famous for mainly done pull-ups as his training regime, says that probably hard physical training 20+ hours a week in her apartment during the two months lockdown is the best explanation.

"The secret of her success is probably the spring lockdown. Everyone was at home. Communication only online. I wrote a training program. At home, Vika performed an enormous amount of physical training. Like me in my best years. 5 times a week, for 4-5 hours. (But the exercises are a secret.) Fingerboard was done regularly. But that was not the main one. Rather, the emphasis was on training large muscles. We used a little bit of everything. But no matter how strange it may sound, I took a lot from figure skating and alpine skiing. Not much with weights, mostly with her own weight.

A month ago, a test for coronavirus gave a positive result and she isolated herself. The disease was mild. She was under the supervision of a doctor of the Russian national command team. As soon as the symptoms went away she began training. Online first, and after negative tests five times at the climbing gym. It's hard for me to say now what played a decisive role. Perhaps rested."


1. Viktoria Meshkova RUS 2 - 6 - 1 = 12
2. Stasa Gejo SER 3 - 1 - 5 = 15
3. Eliska Adamovska CZE 8 - 4 - 2 = 64
4. Patrycja Chudziak POL 1 - 8 - 8 = 64
5. Chloe Caulier BEL 5 - 2 - 7 = 70
6. Elena Krasovskaia RUS 4 - 3 - 6 = 72
7. Hannah Meul GER 6 - 5 - 4 = 120
8. Molly Smith-Thompson GBR 7 - 7 - 3 = 147

It should be noted that the Speed specialist actually was very close to having gotten the bronze.

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MORE NEWS

The Other Side of the Sky 9a by Seb Bouin

Friday, 27 November

The Other Side of the Sky 9a by Seb Bouin

Seb Bouin reports on Insta that he has done the first repeat of De l’autre Côté du Ciel (The Other Side of the Sky) 9a in Les Eaux Claires, which Fred Rouhling put up in 1997. "It’s a huge roof really esthetic, it looks likes someone cut it with a knife. The moves are really big and impressive. There are some twist and 360° on the roof on good holds. Almost 100% chipped, but so fun to climb." (c) Julien Nadiras

Seb, who previously has done some 65 routes 9a and harder, has the last month repeated Rouhlings Hugh 9a from 1993 and the first repeat of Akira 9a (b) from 1995. Seb has commented to 8a, "Fred was ahead of his time and part of the reason for my Vintage trip was to salute him. The difficulty of those routes is amazing! At the same time, I can just say all three routes felt 9a."

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The Back Of Beyond 9a FA by Alexander Rohr

Friday, 27 November

The Back Of Beyond 9a FA by Alexander Rohr

Alexander Rohr has done his ninth 9a by the FA of The Back Of Beyond 9a in Soyhières. (c) Hannes Kutza

"Extension to Jusqu‘au bout du monde. Hard boulder after the first pitch and really resistant. Finally, the original line is born and the Jura got his first 9a. I tried it some days in the beginning of November, but the conditions were still too warm. I went there again last week for three sessions and had a breakthrough on Thursday. Then the conditions on the weekend were bad again but I finally sent on Tuesday on my third try of the day.

The key in this route is doing the lower pitch which is 8c without getting tired and having dry but not too cold conditions. It was a bit weird, as the conditions changed quite a lot and it became hard to predict what‘s going to happen. But in the end, I just kept in trying and got rewarded.

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Zunami 8C by David Kompatscher

Friday, 27 November

Zunami 8C by David Kompatscher

David Kompatscher has done his first 8C, Zunami in Saalachtal. Actually, until 2020, his hardest boulder during the last two years was doing a couple 8A's. Uncut video.

"I already got close to sending the boulder three years ago, but then a knee injury stopped me from trying it because there is an essential hook, which is really demanding for the knee. Some weeks ago I gave it a try again - the knee felt good and I got really close. All in all, I invested around 25 to 30 days on projecting the boulder."

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Meshkova and Lehmann Euro Lead Champions

Thursday, 26 November

Meshkova and Lehmann Euro Lead Champions

Viktoriia Meshkova got her second gold by winning Lead ahead of Eliska Adamovska, being the faster climber touching the final jug. Both had previously topped all three routes. Amazingly, Viktoriia did 18 IFSC World Cups last year and her best result was #16! Molly Thompson-Smith got the bronze. It should be mentioned that Chloe Caulier, who was second in Boulder, topped both qually routes but did not show up for the semi. Most probably she retired due to saving her skin and muscles from the Combined Olympic quest starting on Friday. (c) Nikita Tsarev

Among the male, Sacha Lehmann got the Euro title seeming quite in control the whole way. Runner-up was Nicolas Collins who put up the biggest fighting show in the final. First, he chose to land with just one hand on the big sideways double dyno. Later he started to fight harder than the others and in the end, he was screaming like Adam Ondra for several moves. Noteworthy is that the Belgian is the only male athlete who has participated in all three finals and he showed his fingers for the camera and it will be interesting to see if he can get the skin back until Friday. Third was Dmitrii Fakirianov.

It must be said that overall it was a good show and on the live-screaming, we could follow the results in a bar hold by hold. Overall, the route setters and the organizers have done a great job in Moscow.

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May it be SDS 8A by Chloe Pay (18)

Thursday, 26 November

May it be SDS 8A by Chloe Pay (18)

Chloe Pay, who this summer sent her first 8A+, has done her sixth 8A during 2020, May it be SDS, aka "Leave it be", in Snugglers notch. In the Teenager ranking game she is #2 in the world.

"This choss-pile was both my longest and most pathetic project. I started college three months ago and quickly realized I had little time to dedicate to climbing. I went from ticking off climb after climb over the summer to going nearly three months without any big sends. I had never been through this type of hiatus before and, as a result, my psych for the sport waivered.

When I went to college, I knew my time would be preoccupied with school work, but I did not account for the other changes that would limit my ability to climb. My summer climbing squad went their own ways and I was left to train with my new college friends and on my own. Sometimes, just getting to the gym was a challenge. If I wasn’t able to catch a ride, I had to find 90 minutes in my schedule for public transportation to and from the gym. In order to overcome the low psych, I tried to keep my goals in mind, like possible trips, projects, and my nemesis “Leave it Be.”

Over the past three months, during my weekend trips to Smuggs, I threw myself at this chossy mess. I would consistently get through the crux, only to punt off the top of the boulder. I was so consistently punty, my friends made a video compilation of my attempts and added some soothing background music: “Wells Fargo.” Every year, the Smuggs road closes around Halloween due to the winter weather and doesn’t open again until Spring. When I heard that the road had closed for the season, I was mildly heartbroken. My friends had no interest in hiking up the road, and I was left to conquer “Leave it Be” by myself.

Last weekend, I caught a ride with some friends and hiked up to the boulder. Recognizing that winter was well on its way, I knew I wouldn’t have many more opportunities to send. Although my hands and toes were completely numb, I was determined to stop fooling around and just send the climb. I stuck the right-hand throw to a jug, the move I always fell on, and I knew that my battle with this boulder was over. I am happy to say that I never have to hang from that boulder again, and can now focus my attention on bigger and better rocks."

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Thursday, 26 November

Too easy boulders also for the female

Among the female, the double gold winner Viktoria Meshkova, started out excellent in Speed with 9.40 and fifth place where Patrycja Chudziak won, which most certainly will make her #4 or #5 overall. Then in bouldering, Meshkova was just #6 at 34 behind six girls doing all four including Stasa Gejo, Mannah Meul and Eliska Adamovska, who onsighted them all. Based on the complete results, one can speculate that max 380 points are max making it into the Top-8 final.

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Thursday, 26 November

Kruder is probably out from Tokyo

Jernej Kruder from Slovenia, who two days ago become the Bouldering Euro Champion, started up the Combined qualification by possible setting a new PB in Speed with 7.51 which made him surprisingly #8. But then he scored just 34 in Boulder which put him as #13. Now the Slovenian needs the best Lead performance of his life getting at least Top-4 in order to make it to the final. William Bosi is #1 with 10.5 points just ahead of one of the favourites, Sergei Luzhetski at 12 points.

The Speed specialist making it to the final, and most probably will be #4 or #5 there, is Marcin Dzienski who actually made two bonuses. Interesting is that Speed specialist and favourite was just fourth in his best discipline and was possibly the first Speed specialist who made a top in an IFSC Championship. As a matter of a fact, he actually also touched the last hold on one boulder confirming that the boulders were way too easy. In total, ten male topped all four boulders. Based on the complete results, one can speculate that max 380 points are needed in order to make it into the Top-8 final.

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Southern drawl 8C by Nicolas Milburn

Thursday, 26 November

Southern drawl 8C by Nicolas Milburn

Nicolas Milburn, who previously has done two 9a's, has done his second 8C, Southern drawl in Chattanooga. "Definitely my hardest boulder to date! I put about 25 days of work into this thing, but despite all the sessions, it does just feel like another boulder. It's odd to put so much of my soul into a piece of rock in the forest, but I take pleasure from this kind of pursuit. It has been really exciting to mark my progress on this specific boulder. I have been feeling really strong lately, but until now I wasn't really sure where I was at. Now I feel confident I have improved as a climber."

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