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For tonight, the two best competition climbers in the world are Americans Sean Bailey and Natalia Grossman.
Bailey won the men’s final round at this weekend’s Bouldering World Cup by topping two out of the round’s four boulders. His ascent of the last boulder, a dynamic swing-and-jump spectacle, proved to be the perfect capstone to his dream run in the finals—and set the Salt Lake City crowd into a frenzy.
Japan’s Kokoro Fujii and Tomoa Narasaki rounded out the men’s podium. Also noteworthy was the performance of American Zach Galla; he didn’t earn any tops, but was a consistent crowd favorite and fought hard until the last boulder’s final buzzer.
In the women’s division, Natalia Grossman repeated her victory from last weekend’s Bouldering World Cup to win a gold medal again. In doing so, Grossman dethroned Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, who had not lost a Bouldering World Cup since 2018. That’s not to imply that Garnbret wasn’t masterful as well. Like Grossman, Garnbret topped all four boulders in the women’s final round, but a couple of bumbled starts on two boulders cost Garnbret attempts—and ultimately cost her the victory. Garnbret finished in second place, with American Olympian Brooke Raboutou in third.
Overall, the pair of Bouldering World Cup events in Salt Lake City—last weekend and this weekend—provided some of the most exciting finishes in the history of American competition climbing. Check back here soon for a more in-depth recap and analysis of all the action from Salt Lake City.
What to watch next: The next World Cup of the year will take place in Innsbruck, Austria, on June 23-26. Be sure to follow us on social media for up-to-the-minute news and exclusive World Cup content.
- Sean Bailey (USA)
- Kokoro Fujii (JPN)
- Tomoa Narasaki (JPN)
- Yoshiyuki Ogtata (JPN)
- Zach Galla (USA)
- Maximillian Milne (GBR)
- Natalia Grossman (USA)
- Janja Garnbret (SLO)
- Brooke Raboutou (USA)
- Oriane Bertone (FRA)
- Stasa Gejo (SRB)
- Miho Nonaka (JPN)
Photo by Daniel Gajda