Salt Lake City, May 31, 2021: The final night of the IFSC Boulder and Speed World Cup closed in front of a roaring audience of 3,000-people, applauding the parade of the Sport Climbing Olympians that competed in in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the last two weekends.
The ceremony was the icy on the cake of a perfect night for Team USA, who claimed both the men’s and women’s Boulder title on home soil.
United States’ 25-year-old Sean Bailey celebrated the first World Cup gold medal of his career at the end of a low-scoring, nerve-wrecking final, finishing with two tops and four zones, and bringing the whole crowd on their feel after solving the fourth, decisive problem.
“I don’t know, I can’t even think right now!” said an ecstatic Bailey moments after the final. “I never thought this day would come, and it’s crazy that it came. We had some pretty tough boulders, and I wanted to find some success on something again. The crowd hype was real!”
Alongside Bailey, on the men’s podium, Japan’s Fujii Kokoro and Narasaki Tomoa respectively took second and third place. Fujii finished with one top and four zones, while Narasaki signed off with one and three.
The third finalist representing Japan – Ogata Yoshiyuki – followed in fourth place; United States’ first-time World Cup finalist Zach Galla placed fifth; and Great Britain’s Maximilian Milne – also participating in his first World Cup final ever – closed in sixth position.
In the women’s event, Natalia Grossman (19) pocketed her second consecutive World Cup win by dominating the round and prevailing over a group of experienced climbers that included Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, Japan’s Nonaka Miho, and Serbia’s Stasa Gejo.
Grossman’s closed with the perfect score of four tops and four zones in the minimum number of attempts, securing the third medal of her already fantastic 2021 season. Indeed, she won gold last week – also in Salt Lake City – and bronze in Meiringen in April.
“Going first allowed to have fun the whole time, with no pressure,” said Grossman, who closed today’s semi-final in sixth place and was the lowest-seeded competitor in the final round. “I’m always trying to be as confident as possible, but the fourth problem seemed to be the hardest one. Winning last week’s event definitely gave me a little bit more confidence this time.”
The Silver medal went to Garnbret, who also finished with four tops and four zones, but a higher number of attempts; United States’ Olympian Brooke Raboutou completed the podium in third position with three tops and four zones.
Oriane Bertone of France, barely missed the podium and claimed fourth place; Gejo and Nonaka respectively finished fifth and sixth. —- IFSC