While a Japanese quintet once again set the pace in the men's competition, lead silver medalist Melina Costanza (USA) prevailed in the women's competition as well as gold medalist Nonoha Kume - closely followed by four other Japanese women. Thanks to Matthias Erber (University of Innsbruck) a red-white-red athlete made it to the semifinals.
As in lead, so in bouldering. In an easy qualification route for the men, the Japanese students dominated once again. In the end, 3 athletes, Kento Yamaguchi, Ao Yurikusa and Ryo Omasa, ended up in 1st place with 5 tops and 5 zones, all of which were scored in the first attempt. Matthias Erber (University of Innsbruck), who climbed his last competition at the ÖSTM in September 2021 and is now celebrating his comeback at the Innsbruck climbing center, was able to fight his way into the semifinals with 18th place (4 tops and 4 zones).
"It was a very good feeling today. I was very happy to be able to participate in the Uni World Championships. It was kind of different than usual, but you get back into the competition set-up very quickly. I tried to be very relaxed about the whole thing with no pressure. The route tended to be of the easier variety, but that also has an appeal. It comes down to flashing the boulders and topping them in a few attempts - that does bring a certain mental challenge. I'm very proud that I made it to the semifinals. In bouldering there can always be a lot in it, I try to keep my lightness, and then we'll see how it will out tomorrow anyway," summed up Erber, who is completing his doctorate in law in addition to his job at the district court in Innsbruck.
While Erber could be happy about a place in the round of the best 20 athletes, the start for Maximilian Lenz (University of Graz) did not go as desired. With a 28th place (3 tops and 4 zones), the 19-year-old ultimately missed out on advancing. "It was not so exhilarating today, it just didn't open up for me. In the end the record cost me the advancement to the semifinals, that was annoying. In an easier round, it's just little things that decide, but in that case I ran out of time at the end. Also on the second boulder I was on the top move twice, but couldn't hold it. Of course I would have liked to climb again tomorrow, but it was still an important simulation for the World Cup next week. I will try to eradicate the mistakes from today and show a good performance," Lenz summed up.
The third local was Roman Neuwirth (Graz University of Technology), who’s journey unfortunately ended after a 31st place (3 tops and 4 zones) in the boulder qualification. "On the second boulder I didn't have the fitness anymore. I was already at the top move on the first attempt, but then there was nothing left. That then also affected the next boulder - that was a bit frustrating. The bottom line is that it was cool bouldering and a great atmosphere. I can take a lot from the World University Championships for myself," Neuwirth summed up.
USA versus Japan
In the women's competition, the gold and silver medal winners of the lead event were also the measure of all things in the boulder qualification. US-American Melina Costanza finished the qualification just like Japan's Nonoha Kume with 5 tops and 5 zones, each of which were scored in the first attempt. Kume's teammates lined up behind her with a narrow gap and were within touching distance. There was no Austrian athlete competing in this event.
"The qualification went really well. When you realize that it's an easy round, the pressure is a bit higher again. It's important not to make any mistakes, which I did really well. I was in a good rhythm from the start and I'm pleased that I was able to keep it up through all five problems. I'm happy with the start, now it's a matter of getting the form back on track tomorrow," Costanza revealed after qualifying.