The Wide World of Competition

Images from the 2019 World Cup So Far
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    Meiringen, Switzerland - April 5-6

Rei Sugimoto (JPN) keeps tension on men’s final number two. Thus far, Sugimoto’s best placement in 2019 is third. Last year, he ranked third overall for bouldering. Photo Rene Oberkirch/IFSC

    Meiringen, Switzerland - April 5-6

Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) and Jongwon Chon (KOR) wait for the timer to run its course during the qualification round. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Meiringen, Switzerland - April 5-6

At 29 years old, Akiyo Noguchi (JPN) is one of the oldest competitors on the circuit. Age has yet to slow her down—she currently ranks third. Photo Rene Oberkirch/IFSC

    Meiringen, Switzerland - April 5-6

Tomoaki Takata (JPN) catches air on the second boulder in finals. This unique boulder required a palm press and toe hook before stabbing up to the zone hold. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Moscow, Russia - April 12-14

Traditionally lead and bouldering athletes, Alex Megos (GER) and Loïc Timmermans (BEL) try their hand at speed in preparation for the combined Olympic format. Photo Nkita Tsarev/IFSC

    Moscow, Russia - April 12-14

YiLing Song (CHN) wins her first World Cup Speed title with a time just .06 seconds slower the women’s world record. Two weeks later, in the quarterfinal round, Song shattered the world record with a time of 7.101, over two tenths of a second faster than the previous record. Song, 18, is currently first in Speed in the 2019 season. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Moscow, Russia - April 12-14

The 2018 Lead World Championship winner Jessica Pilz (AUT) uses flexibility to get through the third problem in semifinals. Pilz, 22, placed fourth for the competition and currently ranks fourth for the season. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Chongqing, China - April 26-28

Winner of the 2018 Speed World Championships
in Innsbruck, Aleksandra Rudzińska (POL) blocks out the lights and crowd for a moment of focus. Rudzińska placed second in Chongqing and went on to win in Wujiang. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Chongqing, China - April 26-28

QiXin Zhong (CHN) stops the time to best Marcin Dzienski (POL). They placed fourth and ninth respectively. Photo Eddie Fowke

    Chongqing, China - April 26-28

Chloé Caulier (BEL) chalks up before speed. Caulier was just one spot out of finals in the Bouldering World Cup in Chongqing. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Wujiang, China - May 3-5

Miho Nonaka (JPN) has been injured for most of the season, and skipped the first three World Cups. Still, she placed fourth in Wujiang. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Wujiang, China - May 3-5

The opening drumroll in Wujiang is a spectacle to remember. Complete with traditional dances, colorful flowers and a picturesque lake behind the wall, competitors can’t help but ohhh and ahhh. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Wujiang, China - May 3-5

Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) pulled out all of the tricks in his bag in an attempt to top the men’s third semifinal boulder. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Wujiang, China - May 3-5

The women square off in the bouldering format. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Rei Sugimoto attempts to unwind on the third boulder. Alternatively, in an interview with the IFSC, Sugimoto said his favorite way to unwind is with Japanese sake. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Narasaki puts on a try-hard face while using his knees to progress up the boulder. Recently, Narasaki has put on a very different face in his photoshoot for GQ. He is currently second to Ondra in the overall 2019 ranking. Photo Eddie Fowke

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Ashima Shiraishi (USA), was the closest American to qualifying for finals after finishing the semifinal round in ninth place. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

YuZhen Baima (CHN) gets crafty in qualifiers. She finished 82nd. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Like Noguchi, Jain Kim (KOR) is another legend on the circuit. Kim, 30, has 30 gold medals from IFSC World Cups and Championships. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Jakob Schubert (AUT) beat Adam Ondra in Munich by just one zone. It was his first Bouldering World Cup win since 2013. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Out of the 45 IFSC Lead and Bouldering World Cups and Championships that Garnbret has competed in, she’s podiumed in 41. Not only that, no one in the history of climbing has yet to have a perfect season. The 20-year-old is currently five golds for five World Cups in 2019. If she wins in Vail, she will be the first to have maintained the winning streak. Photo Rene Oberkirch/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Jernej Kruder (SLO) was the overall 2018 Bouldering Champion. Despite winning gold in the second 2019 World Cup, Kruder currently sits in eighth. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

    Munich, Germany - May 18-19

Fanny Gibert (FRA) is ranked second for the 2019 Bouldering season. The 26-year-old superstar has yet to win a World Cup. Photo Eddie Fowke/IFSC

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