The Brixen World Cup success story and recap

EDITORIAL

16 June 2022

Just over 3 months ago, the IFSC suspended the Boulder World Cup and the local organizers in Brixen were asked if they were interested in hosting a replacement event. Three weeks later the dates were fixed and Alexandra Ladurner, Youth World Champion in 2010, started her full-time work preparing for this World Cup. "I have not been able to climb as much as I am used to but it has been a fun process." The 30-year-old is the type of manager that always seems to have everything under control without ever seeming stressed out. She's on top of every detail, we even caught her picking up garbage that some athletes had left. "I can not help myself. It (the venue) needs to look nice and clean," she says with a smile. (c) IFSC

Talking to several athletes and coaches, they all agree that it has been a well organized event and that the venue is perfect for hosting World Cups. Kilian Fischhuber, 5-time winner of the Boulder WC and now a coach for the Austrians, pointed out the great benefit of a curtain in front of the wall covering the route setters' work. Others mentioned that the wall is wider and steeper than most other walls on the circuit. The warm-up wall was great, and the after party and band were also well received.

When it comes to the route setting, the only major complaint heard was the perhaps too hard men's final. However, many coaches and athletes thought it is better too hard than too easy. One coach mentioned that there were again some moves that were not good for the shoulders and Natalia Grossman seemed to have some pain after the final.

Overall though, the route setting was nothing less than spectacular. The number of different solutions that were done on almost each boulder problem was impressive and highly entertaining. On one of the female final boulder problems, all six girls used six unique approaches to do one single move.

We also noticed more interaction among athletes and coaches from different nations, compared to some years ago. The athletes seemed to be more at ease and relaxed at this event and there were long queues of kids and their parents waiting for an autograph.

Brixen went a long way in highlighting the spectacle and legitimacy of climbing and climbing competitions, but constructively speaking there's still room for competitions to improve. The result service is much better than it used to be, but it is still hard for the viewer to understand who is in the lead after each boulder and what is needed for each competitor to make it to the final or to get onto the podium etc. Having a short presentation/clip of each of the 6 finalists both directly after the semi and just before the final would also be a welcomed addition.

The time it takes for each round to be completed is also something that has to be looked at with a little more scrutiny. Perhaps the IFSC could explore limiting the number of athletes, starting with climbers on all five boulders in the semi, trialling a 3+ minute climb time and in the finals, maybe even consider eliminating the lowest placed climbers after the first two boulders.

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