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Mejdi Schalck on the Meiringen World Cup podium! PlanetGrimpe

© Vladek Zumr

Mejdi Schalck did it! He won the bronze medal tonight in Meiringen, after coming close to victory. For his first participation in a world bouldering final, Paul Jenft, the second Frenchman to participate, finished at the foot of the podium.

An exciting final!

Never before has a final had so many twists! The provisional standings remained unnoticed throughout the race. Back in detail about this smashing finale!

Block 1

“Bounce”. The first block set the tone for these finals. Indeed, on the first route, climbers had to bounce from grip to side until they reached a large barge. A triple jerk that won’t be a problem for Tomoa Narasaki and Yoshikuyi Ogataknown for their air qualities, which connect this rock in plain sight.

It also goes for Paul Jenft, the first finalist to leave, who opened the ball rolling by executing the boulder in 4 tries. No problem either Mejdi Schalckwho even has the luxury of shunting this coordination by opting for a static method on her second attempt.

Finally, all competitors will validate this block, except the US Colin Duffywhich cannot hold the final volume in compression.

Block 2

The final took a big turn in this second block. Initially, the openers had imagined a crack in which you literally had to throw your fist to ram it inside. Paul Jenft, the first climber to face the block, attempts this first move many times. On his very last try, he almost manages to get his fist into the volume suit, but he doesn’t quite succeed.

Colin Duffy then finds a shunt to this first move. Instead of trying to put his fist in the crack, he throws right into compression on the next take, and it works! Unfortunately, he falls at the end of the block and cannot stabilize in the last hold.

After a few attempts to try the original method, Mejdi Schalck in turn finds the shunt on the next tap. But like the American, he falls into the last grasp. Fortunately, he has a few seconds left on the clock, which allows him to make one last attempt. More motivated than ever, this time he managed to check the last hold and thus validate the block.

Our Frenchman then took a considerable lead in the standings, because neither of them Tomoa Narasakineither Kokoro Fujiic not to chain the block. So this meant that at the end of this second block, Mejdi was one block ahead of all the other finalists!

Block 3

But in block 3, new twists! This time the setters had decided to put the climbers’ meninges to the test. Setting up to validate the four starting tires was particularly difficult. It was necessary to perform a run&jump on the first volume, then slowly descend to validate the starting position correctly, then perform a throw to move on to the next take. On his very last attempt, Paul Jenft find the solution! The pressure is at its peak in the French clan as the seconds pass. The young 18-year-old climber managed to climb the boulder in the last ten seconds.

At the back, the participants break their teeth one by one at this start. Despite his 89 starts in the World Cup, Kokoro Fujii stays on the mat and spends long minutes deciphering this block. It’s the same for Tomoa Narasakior Mejdi Schalckincluding the movement of starting too late.

Crazy story for Colin Duffy † During his visit, the American decided to opt for a more radical method. Instead of carefully confirming the starting position, he performs a run&jump, quickly touching the four tires with his four limbs and running straight to the next hold. A method that works and leads directly to the top. But following a complaint, he was asked to restart the block. In fact, according to the jury, he did not sufficiently validate the starting position during his run&jump. The young American, who participated in the Olympic Games this summer, therefore leaves with a knife between his teeth. It performs the same method, but again, the judges don’t validate it. Furious, Duffy doesn’t hide his anger and begins a new trial. This time, despite his run&jump, we see that he quickly stabilizes his four limbs on the starting grips. This time will be the right one and this third top will be awarded to him!

Block 4

At this point in the competition, the preliminary standings were unbelievable: the two French Mejdi Schalck and Paul Jenft were proudly crowned in first and second place, each one block ahead of the rest of the finalists!

But in this final block of the competition, they will fail to materialize their efforts. Again, this route abused the climbers’ shoulders. You had to hang at arm’s length on the first take and generate a pendulum motion to go dynamic on the next take, while compressing the starting volume with the palm of the other hand. Paul Jenft will manage to make the first moves, but will fall into the last grab. The same applies to Mejdi Schalckwhich, despite many attempts to hold the last hold, will not succeed.

On the other hand, the two Japanese Tomoa Narasaki and Yoshiyuki Ogata let the power speak and chain this last block in two and four attempts respectively. To illustrate the incredible scenario of these finals, if Kokoro Fujiic, the last finalist to start, was at the top of this block, so he won the competition. Unfortunately, he will not pass and will be ranked last in the final.

The top 4, consisting of the two Japanese and the two French, had the same score: 2 linked boulders and 3 validated zones. It is therefore the number of tests that everything is played. With only three attempts it is Tomoa Narasaki who won this first World Cup of the season, ahead of his compatriot Yoshiyuki Ogatawhich has 5 trials. Mejdi Schalck wins a beautiful bronze medal thanks to his seven attempts. Finally, Paul Jenftwho does not consider himself a bouldering specialist, finished in a splendid 4th place, for his first final in this discipline.

The full results of the men’s final:


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