"baby face" Duffy wins his first bouldering gold

Yannick Flohé again delivered a strong performance at the Bouldering World Cup in Innsbruck, but in the final he had nothing to do with the medal award. “Baby Face” Colin Duffy from the USA won gold.

Premiere in Innsbruck: Colin Duffy wins a Boulder World Cup for the first time.

Photo: Jan Virt / IFSC

Bernd Staib reports from Innsbruck

Flohé had improved significantly on Thursday and was fourth in the semifinals in the evening finals of the six best athletes. But because he had decided on a support solution for the third of four boulder problems for too long and was unable to score a zone rating, the renewed dream of the podium was quickly over.

“Full throttle Yannick!”: Megos cheering doesn’t help

His DAV colleague Alex Megos (13th in the semifinals) cheered him on loudly from the audience (“Full throttle, Yannick!”) When Flohé switched from the attempted support to a dynamic variant, but the 22-year-old already had it shot too many grains to be able to hold the tiny zone grip.

The bottom line was sixth and last place for the Brixen winner from Essen with two tops and three zones. Fifth place went to the reigning Bouldering World Champion Kokoro Fujii from Japan, fourth was South Korea’s Jongwon Chon – the Asian duo had achieved the same result as Flohé, but managed it with fewer attempts.

Change of strategy on the third boulder decides about the medals

That third boulder was decisive for the award of the podium places – both Colin Duffy (USA), Doyhun Lee (South Korea) and Yoshiyuki Ogata (Japan) quickly switched from the static variant to more dynamic and thus came to the top grip. The tension on the scoreboard could hardly be surpassed and the atmospheric backdrop in the Innsbruck climbing center drove the athletes on again before the last boulder problem.

Premiere for Duffy

It appeared to be a decision where the number of attempts at zone holds would become the deciding factor, but then Duffy got his third top – and the gold medal, clearly. Just as clearly, the youngest finalist, aged 18, celebrated his first World Cup victory – he didn’t make a face, presented his “baby face” as in the competition and shyly raised the winner’s arm when the bright spotlight caught him as the winner.

Ogata wins overall Bouldering World Cup – Flohé fourth

The Boulder World Cup in Innsbruck was the sixth and last competition in this discipline for this season – apart from the European Championships in Munich in mid-August. Ogata from Japan secured the overall World Cup in bouldering ahead of his compatriot Fujii. Ogata had triumphed in Salt Lake City this bouldering season, taking two second places (second event in Salt Lake City and Meiringen, two third places (Seoul, Innsbruck) and one fifth place (Brixen).

Flohé started at only four Bouldering World Cups, won in Brixen and contested a total of three finals. At the second event in Salt Lake City, he narrowly missed the final in seventh place. In the overall ranking of the Bouldering World Cup, he ranks fourth.

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