Tomoa Narasaki wins gold in Keqiao

The Japanese veteran Tomoa Narasaki wins the first Boulder World Cup of the season. At the Shaoxing Keqiao Yangshan Climbing Center in Keqiao, he prevailed against 20 opponents in a thrilling final.

20 finalists? You read that right. Since the men's qualification at the IFSC Boulder World Cup in Keqiao had literally fallen through, the final round was held in a semi-final format.

Tomoa Narasaki Flashed two of the four final boulders and got two zones in the first attempt. In the end, this was enough for his 25th World Cup medal. With the victory in Keqiao, the Japanese moves up to fourth place in the all-time best list for men.

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I'm glad I won. It's important to focus on the Olympics and that starts now with this victory. Now I just have to keep training for the games.

Tomoa Narasaki
Wins the season opener of the IFSC World Cup series in Keqiao: the Japanese Tomoa Narasaki. Image: IFSC
Wins the season opener of the IFSC World Cup series in Keqiao: the Japanese Tomoa Narasaki. Image: IFSC

Narasaki's teammate secured the silver medal Sorato Anraku also with two tops and two zones. Since he needed more attempts, it was enough for the youngster to take second place. Sorato Anraku always had victory within his grasp. If he had managed to top the last boulder, a plate problem, he would have been at the top of the podium. The 2-year-old was still happy with his performance:

I'm really happy that I got a medal right at the start of the season. I really wanted to do boulder four, but it was very confusing and I was nervous.

Sorato Anraku
Although Sorato Anraku started the first Boulder World Cup of the season confidently, in the end it was just not enough to win. Image: IFSC
Although Sorato Anraku started the first Boulder World Cup of the season confidently, in the end it was just not enough to win. Image: IFSC

Bronze went to the IFSC Boulder World Cup in Keqiao Hannes van Duysen. For the Belgian it is the second World Cup medal of his career. “I am of course very happy about third place and that the training over the winter paid off and that I have the same consistency in bouldering as I did last year,” said van Duysen.

Hannes van Duysen
Hannes van Duysen wins his second World Cup medal with the bronze medal in Keqiao. Image: IFSC

Fourth, fifth and sixth places went to Toby Roberts, Sam Avezou and Meichi Narasaki. The three Austrian finalists Jakob Schubert, Jan-Luca Posch and Nicolai Uznik finished the competition in 8th, 9th and 14th place.

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Credits: Cover picture IFSC

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