Semen Ovchinnikov (RUS) and Natsuki Tanii (JPN) take Gold in the first Combined Finals (Youth B)!

Today, the 9th of September, a historic event took place at the Sill-Side area in Innsbruck: In the course of the Climbing Youth World Championships 2017 the first Combined finals on the way to Tokyo 2020 happened. First, the athletes of the category Youth B competed against each other in Speed, followed by Bouldering and lastly Lead. The Japanese climbers were the most successful and secured five out of six spots on the podium for themselves. The girls from Japan manages to take all three medals. Semen Oychinnikov (RUS) and Natsuki Tanii (JPN) scored the Combined titles of the Youth B.


Innsbruck: This Saturday was heavily anticipated. The Japanese TV was on the scene to report live from the Combined finals of the category Youth B (U16), the focus was especially on Futaba Ito. Since her big win at the Japanese Boulder Championships she is a star in her home country. 

Six boys and six girls of the category Youth B qualified for the Single discipline for today’s final. To construct the ranking the placements of the individual rounds will be multiplied. If it is the case that that two climbers have the same amount of points the winner is the one who was in the lead in two disciplines. So; the one who wins once, gets in second and third once collects six points, but loses against the one who wins twice and comes in sixth once (the athlete would have six points too, but was in the lead in two disciplines). Because of the multiplication the wins in the single rounds gain a lot of importance. 

Semen Oychinnikov is the winner in the boys' category

In the discipline Speed the Japanese Ryoei Nukui, managed to score the first win. Semen Oychinnikov (RUS) fell in the final. The Bouldering round for the boys was relatively easy, but Rei Kawamata was the only one to flash all the problems. Therefore, after being rank third in Speed he was on the intermediate rank one, before the event continued with Lead. Oychinnikov got in second at the Boulder competition and was on the intermediate rank two with four points. Nukui did not stand a chance and placed sixth. In the discipline Lead Hidemasa Nishida (JPN) was the best and got the rank three. The silver medal was won by the Boulder World Champion Rei Kawamata, Semen Oychinnikov won gold because of his strong Lead achievement. “I am very happy with my performance in the Combined discipline, but I could have done better in Speed. I like that there are three disciplines lined after each other and I am not as tired as I expected to be, but nonetheless, it was a bit stressful. I think Innsbruck is great and I would love to move here for training.”, stated the first ever Combined World Champion.

Japanese collect three medals, Tanii Natsuki scores gold

Among the girls Tanii Natsuki (JPN) was the Speed winner. With that achievement she made a big leap towards a spot on the podium. Futaba Ito came in second, who now was expected to win at Bouldering, which she failed to do. Tanii Natsuki stayed with rank two at the top of the list, until the Lead round started. Because of the strong accomplishment of the Lead expert Ai Mori in the Bouldering round, she got the intermediate rank two. Just like it was the case with the boys, Lead was the deciding round. Tanii Natsuki defended her spot on top of the podium with a top in Lead. It was the perfect ending for a successful Combined premiere. 

Therefore, there was no way to get past the Japanese in the Combined finals. Tanii Natsuki won before her team mate and Lead World Champion (U16) Ai Mori and Boulder World Champion (U16) Futaba Ito. The exhaustion was written all over the defeated favourites face: “To climb in three disciplines one after another, is very exhausting. I am a bit tired now. But I enjoy it and it is a great challenge. The wall in Innsbruck is so massive and the routes are always exciting.”, stated Ito in the end.

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