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Early this morning, April 5th, athletes from around the world gathered in Meiringen, Switzerland for the first Bouldering World Cup of the season. The competition marks the beginning of the 2019 international climbing series, which will end with the Olympic Qualifying event in Tournefeuille-Toulouse, France in November.
The U.S. sent ten athletes based on their rank in from the U.S. Combined Invitational and U.S. Bouldering Nationals. The team has spent much of the last month training together in Salt Lake City. “I don’t want to jinx anything, but I feel good psych and feats of strength coming from this year’s US Team,” wrote Nathaniel Coleman five days ago on Instagram. “No matter what, I think it’s gonna be a dope season,” he continued.
Expectations were high for key players Kai Harada and Janja Garnbret, winners of the 2018 Bouldering World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria. Eyes were also on Jernej Kruder and Akiyo Noguchi, who were ranked first overall for the 2018 Bouldering World Cup series. Tomoa Narasaki and Miho Nonaka were not far behind in the series rankings.
From the U.S., Kyra Condie, Brooke Raboutou, Margo Hayes, Ashima Shiraishi, and Alex Johnson represented the women. Condie, the winner of the U.S. Combined Invitational this past February, placed first in her group early this morning to secure her spot in tomorrow’s semifinal. Johnson also secured a spot by qualifying in the seventeenth position.
U.S. athletes Nathaniel Coleman, Drew Ruana, Zach Galla, Sean Bailey and Dylan Barks competed in the men’s bracket. Coleman came in second at the U.S. Combined Invitational and, like Condie, secured his spot in semis tomorrow, qualifying in first position this morning. None of the other U.S. Team members qualified for semis.
Semifinals begin at 3am MST and finals at 11am. Tune into IFSC to watch the live streaming.