Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret and Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki lead their respective fields following a stirring semifinal round at today’s Bouldering World Cup event in Salt Lake City.
In the men’s division, Narasaki cruised to the top of all four boulders, never seeming flustered by the routesetters’ mix of slabby dual-tex sequences and shoulder-scrunching coordination catches. But the most memorable performances in front of the frenzied Salt Lake City crowd were those of Americans Sean Bailey and Zach Galla; they finished the semifinal round in second and third place, respectively. Bailey, in fact, was neck-and-neck with Narasaki in the scores and also concluded the round with four tops.
In the women’s division, Japan’s Miho Nonaka finished the semifinal round in second place behind Garnbret. France’s Oriane Bertone, who qualified relatively low, came back strong in the semifinal round with two tops and a third-place finish.
Natalia Grossman, who wowed the crowd with a victory at last weekend’s Bouldering World Cup, will be looking for a repeat-win tonight. She finished this morning’s semifinals in sixth place, just high enough to edge into the finals. Her friend and American compatriot Brooke Raboutou had what was likely the clutch moment of the semifinals, unlocking some tricky chimney beta for the sole top of the women’s third boulder. That ascent helped propel Raboutou into fourth place heading into tonight’s finals.
A list of the top six semifinal places (and, thus, the competitors who will compete in tonight’s finals) is below.
What to watch for in the next round: Tomoa Narasaki was not the only competitor from Team Japan to climb well in the men’s semifinals. His compatriots Yoshiyuki Ogata and Kokoro Fujii will join him in tonight’s finals and are fully capable of earning podium places—or winning. In the women’s division, keep an eye on Serbia’s Stasa Gejo—a fan-favorite who has been climbing extremely well all weekend.
Go grab a quick lunch because the Bouldering World Cup finals kicks off in just a couple hours. Check back for updates and follow us on social media for exclusive footage and access to all the finals’ action.
1. Janja Garnbret (SLO)
2. Miho Nonaka (JPN)
3. Oriane Bertone (FRA)
4. Brooke Raboutou (USA)
5. Stasa Gejo (SRB)
6. Natalia Grossman (USA)
1. Tomoa Narasaki (JPN)
2. Sean Bailey (USA)
3. Zach Galla (USA)
4. Yoshiyuki Ogata (JPN)
5. Kokoro Fujii (JPN)
6. Maximillian Milne (GBR)
Photo by Daniel Gajda