Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 (YOG) qualified athletes Sam Avezou of France and Italian Laura Rogora soared to 1st place on the last problems of Youth A Bouldering finals in Moscow. YOG qualified athletes Nathan Martin (FRA) and Lucka Rakovec (SLO) also won medals in Bouldering at the 2018 IFSC Youth World Championships.
A crowd-facing start kicked off the final for the 6 female athletes. Rogora solved the crux and showed her strength by leaping to the top hold for the flash and an early lead. Rakovec used alternative beta by dynoing straightaway, and Saki Kikuchi dangled by one hand at the move for a top as well. Every athlete struggled to cross the volumes of F2 and big reach to the small finishing hold of F3, leaving F4 to decide the podium. Rogora showed no signs of fatigue on the concluding static climbing, stepping up the ladder of volumes and onto the top of the Youth A Bouldering podium with a flash for the Bouldering title. Rakovec scored the zone point for second place and Slovenia’s third medal, and Futaba Ito of Japan topped with just over 30 seconds remaining to knock teammate Kikuchi off the podium.
M1 tested the composure of the 6 male finalists, requiring a flash to be among the leaders. Avezou and Eneko Carretero Crux of Spain separated from the field on M2, the only athletes to surpass the crimp crux of the slab problem on their first attempt. A two-hand dyno followed by big moves changed the pace on M3, but Avezou and Carretero Crux stayed perfect with three tops in three attempts and Martin also completed his third top to stay in the hunt for gold. On the last problem, Carretero Crux cruised through the opening power moves but peeled off at the technical finishing press on his first attempt, giving Avezou an opportunity to take the victory by topping in one or two attempts. After dropping to the mats on hist first attempt, Avezou regained composure and duly topped on his second attempt to take the victory on countback to semi-finals. Martin joined him on the podium with a top of his own, making it two medals for France in Youth A Bouldering finals and four among YOG qualified athletes.
Ekaterina Barashchuk and Gian Luca Zodda, former Speed youth world champions, capped off the Speed climbing at IFSC Youth World Championships Moscow by regaining the title in their last year of Juniors. Five Russian athletes advanced to the medal races on Sunday in front of their home crowd, including Barashchuk who bested teammate Elena Remizova in the semi-final and Elizaveta Ivanova who guaranteed another gold medal for Russia. In a tight final race, Barashchuk scored the fastest time of the round (8.12 seconds) and slapped the finishing pad four hundredths of a second before Ivanova. It was her second Speed title since she competed at the IFSC Youth World Championships in 2014 in Noumea, New Caledonia. In the small final, Remizova capitalised on a fall from Elisabetta Dalla Brida (ITA) to join her compatriots on the all-Russian podium. YOG qualified athlete and Combined world champion Elena Krasovskaia also climbed in finals, placing 6th.
Zodda raced past Demyan Zaytsev of Russia in the semi-final and overcame a slip in the big final to hand Italy a gold medal in Speed climbing. Zodda was last crowned with the Speed title in 2016 in Guangzhou, China. American Noah Bratschi eliminated 2017 Youth A champion Sergei Rukin (RUS), the fastest male athlete of the round (6.21 seconds), from contention in the semi-final and placed 2nd. In the small final, Rukin slipped early and Zaytsev continued upward for Russia’s 4th medal in Juniors and 7th in Moscow so far.