Schalck wins gold, Van Duysen secures Belgium's first World Cup medal

At the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji, the men's podium is firmly in Franco-Belgian hands. Mejdi Schalck secures the second World Cup gold of his career, teammate Paul Jenft wins bronze. Between the two ended up Hannes Van Duysen, who gave Belgium its first World Cup podium with his silver medal.

In the final of the first IFSC Bouldering World Cup of the year, the athletes from France and Belgium were able to assert themselves against the competition from Asia. Made the jump to the top of the podium Mejdi Schalck. For the 18-year-old Frenchman, it is the second World Cup gold medal of his career.

IFSC Boulder World Cup Hachioji: Men's final highlights

"I'm very happy about the gold medal because that was a big goal that I trained for in the winter. I wanted to win a second medal to show myself that I can do it."

Mejdi Schalck
Mejdi Schalck is happy about his strong performance at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji. Image: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
Mejdi Schalck is happy about his strong performance at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji. Picture: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Training partner and teammate Paul Jenft finished the competition in third place - a personal best for the still young athlete. The two Frenchmen have been training together for around six years and pushing each other. "It's a good rivalry for both of us," says Mejdi Schalck.

Paul Jenft agrees and adds with a wink: "I'm happy, but I'm also frustrated because Mejdi always hits me. But he drives me to get stronger because he's my friend and we train very well together."

First World Cup gold for Belgium

A small sensation created Hannes VanDuysen. He was only the second Belgian ever to qualify for a Boulder World Cup final. And with his silver medal he secured Belgium's first ever World Cup medal.

"It's the first time Belgium has won a medal, that's pretty cool."

Hannes VanDuysen
19-year-old Hannes Van Duysen climbs to second place at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji. Image: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
19-year-old Hannes Van Duysen climbs to second place at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hachioji. Picture: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Hannes Van Duysen has only been competing in international competitions for two years and is accordingly delighted with his result. It was exciting to reach the semifinals. From then on he felt no more pressure. «I just climbed the way I wanted and made it to the final. To end up on the podium is really crazy."

The two Japanese Kokoro Fujii and Sorato Anraku finished the World Cup in front of their home crowd in fourth and fifth place. The Korean Jongwon Chon ended up sixth.

The Korean Jongwon Chon thanks the audience. Image: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
The Korean Jongwon Chon thanks the audience. Picture: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Yannick Flohé strongest athlete from DACH region

Yannick Flohé was very strong, just missing the final and finishing in 11th place. Nicolai Uznik, the best Austrian, finished the Bouldering World Cup in Hachiji in 18th place. The strongest Swiss this weekend was Nils Favre in 59th place.

IFSC Boulder World Cup Hachioji: Ranking Men

  1. Mejdi Schalck (FRA)
  2. Hannes Van Duysen (BEL)
  3. Paul Jenft (FRA)
  4. Kokoro Fujii (JPN)
  5. Sorato Anraku (JPN)
  6. Jongwon Chon (KOR)

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Credits: Cover picture Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

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