Great Britain’s reigning champion Shauna Coxsey remained on course to retain her International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Bouldering World Cup title in Navi Mumbai today as she qualified with ease for tomorrow’s semi-finals.
Coxsey, who finished ninth in at Navi Mumbai last year, needs only to place the same or better at the sixth and penultimate event of the season to earn another title, having arrived with a 65 points lead following her victory at the World Cup in Vail, Colorado on June 10.
But she will face a strong challenge from Japanese climbers Akiyo Noguchi and last year’s Navi Mumbai winner Miho Nonaka, who have finished second and third at the last two events.
“It was really good fun actually,” Coxsey said.
“The boulders were quite interesting, lots of different styles.
“There were a couple of moves that were harder than I had anticipated, especially for a qualification round.
“I flashed four of the five boulders – the last one was really slippery, so I didn’t give it everything,”
Nonaka kept her hopes of a second consecutive Mumbai win very much alive as she also qualified comfortably, topping four boulders.
Petra Klingler of Switzerland also got through despite having her injured right knee bandaged.
“It happens,” she said.
“The qualifiers were not perfect for me, but I have to make the best of it.”
The destination of the men’s title is less certain.
Jongwon Chon’s second victory of the season in Vail took him to within six points of front runner Keita Watabe of Japan.
But because athletes competing in all seven World Cup events have their lowest score discounted, Aleksei Rubtsov of Russia appears well placed to win.
First, however, he will have to beat Chon and the Japanese pair of Kokoro Fujii, the 2016 Navi Mumbai winner, and the defending champion Tomoa Narasaki.
Chon eased into tomorrow morning’s semis after topping four boulders – but Rubtsov went one better, topping five.
But Fujii topped the rankings as he moved through along with six fellow Japanese climbers.
“There were many types of problem today, I think I can win tomorrow,” Narasaki said.
The semi-finals start at 09.00 local time, with the final scheduled for 17.15.