SPORT CLIMBING Preview: Men’s Speed title to be decided in Xiamen

There’s only one seasonal World Cup title to be decided in Sport Climbing: men’s Speed, and it will come down to the final World Cup of the 2018 season, in Xiamen (CHN). The contenders, with their current and best possible scores:

1. 413 Danyil Boldyrev (UKR): could be 513
2. 396 Dmitrii Timofeev (RUS): could be 474
3. 350 Reza Alipour (IRI): could be 450
4. 348 Bassa Mawem (FRA): could be 448
5. 332 Aleksandr Shilov (RUS): could be 432

With the scoring at 100-80-65-55-51 for the top five places, these are the only competitors with a chance to win this weekend. The IFSC’s scoring rules allow a competitor to count only the top seven of the eight World Cups, so the possible scoring totals are also shown, based on winning in Xiamen!

Thus far in 2018, Boldyrev has been the most consistent, with two wins and two bronzes in his six races so far. Timofeev, Alipour and Mawem have each won once. Russian Aleksandr Shikov has also won once and last week’s races in Wujiang (CHN) had a surprise winner in Aspar Jaelolo (INA).

In terms of pedigree, Boldyrev is trying for his second seasonal title, having won previously in 2014. Alipour has been second the last two seasons, but the others would be new to the seasonal medal stand. It won’t be a surprise for a Russian to win: they’ve won this category in nine of the last 13 years!

The other seasonal titles were decided last week, with Anouck Jaubert (FRA) winning her second straight women’s Speed title. Behind her, the other seasonal medals are in play, with Mariia Krasavina (RUS: 396) leading fellow Russian Iullia Kaplina (354) with Indonesia’s Aries Susanti Rahayu (320) also in contention.

In Lead, Jakob Schubert (AUT) won his second career men’s Lead title (he clinched with 495 points) last week, with Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA: 437) second, but third is still up for grabs between Romain Desgranges (FRA: 313) and Domen Skofic (SLO: 260).

The women’s Lead title went to Janja Garnbret (SLO) for the third straight year with 550 points. Austria’s Jessica Pilz (AUT: 460) is safe for second, but third is still being contested, with Jain Kim (KOR: 320) leading Manon Hily (FRA: 238).

Look for results from Xiamen here.