Seoul World Cup: silver medal for Oriane Bertone and fiasco in the broadcast of the event

Silver medal for Oriane Bertone, 4th place for Paul Jenft, American domination for women and Japanese for men: here is the summary of a World Cup weekend in Seoul marked by a new fiasco in terms of broadcasting of the event.


Natalia Grossman. © Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Let’s start by mentioning the absence of a number of headliners, probably keen to dedicate themselves a bit to rock before returning to resin to prepare for the Paris Olympics, but perhaps also cooled by the media impoverishment of the events, caused by the famous paid streaming which, for the moment, makes climbing invisible on the net…

As soon as she won the first stage in Meiringen, Janja Garnbret had already announced the color by ending her bouldering season, but it seems that the very young dad Adam Ondra is taking – not officially however – the same decision: he did not show up this weekend (just like in Meiringen) and is also not committed on the next two dates at the end of May in Salt Lake City.

What can we finally remember from the rainy (and freezing!) Korean weekend? The two speed records, men and women, smashed, Orianne Bertone in silver, Paul Jenft at the foot of the podium and a new generation of the French team once again at the rendezvous.

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Aleksandra Miroslaw and Kiromal Katibin: new world records! © Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Two world records, back to back

The Korean weekend started strong with the sprinters smashing the women’s and men’s speed records. The big favourite, the Polish Aleksandra Miroslaw thus broke her previous world record from last year, lowering it by 0.2 seconds (which is huge!) to come to 6.64 seconds.

In the aftermath, the Indonesian machines set off: Kiromal Katibin beat the previous record held by his compatriot, Veddriq Leonardo to establish the new world reference at 5.17 seconds, or three hundredths better. In a few years, we have thus gone from 5.48 s (record of the Iranian Reza Alipourshenazandifar in 2017) to this new time which suggests that the bar of 5 s is not so far… Although it in any case, the Indonesians have squatted the first three places…

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The results of the French, out of 35 participants

Capucine Viglione, 6 (best time 7.67 s)

Aurelia Sarisson, 14 (best time 7.23s)

Lison Gautron, 16 (best time 8.23s)

Victoire Andrier, 32 (best time 11.06 s)

The results of the French, out of 38 participants

Guillaume Moro, 7 (best time 5.79s)

Pierre Rebreyend, 15 (best time 5.94 s)

Yann Le Clercq de Lannoy, 23rd (best time 6.36s)

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Oriane Bertone © Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Oriane Bertone insinuates herself into the American system

If, on the first two boulders, it was at loggerheads between Natalia Grossman and Oriane, the American however distanced herself from our young Frenchwoman in the last two passages where she showed excellent vista in deciphering the problems while relying on sheer strength far beyond that of any other girl. The proof at the end of block 3 that she does no-foot before performing the final movement in static, where all the others have thrown, with more or less success… In block 4, with cunning , it bypasses the departure imagined by the openers and which was very problematic for its rivals.

In the absence of Janja, the one who was in ambush – not even concealed – for some time therefore seems to be establishing herself as the new boss of the world circuit. On this competition, no block, in each of the phases, will have resisted the American…

Oriane finished in excellent second place by making the difference on the very first boulder which did not suit Franco-American Brooke Raboutou. Even with this complete impasse on this boulder (not even the affected area!), Brooke still manages to climb onto the third step.

The tone therefore seems set for the rest of the season between these three girls, but we still have to count on the Serbian Stasa Gejo who is gaining momentum with each competition and this time finishes at the foot of the podium. It will be ready to come and grab places at the slightest error from this leading trio. However, her performance remains to be mentioned since she is the only competitor in her country and therefore does not benefit from the structures and training staff as her rivals can have, her father acting as coach and guide.

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The results of the French, out of 51 participants

Oriane Bertone, 2

Flavy Cohaut, 9

Fanny Gibert, 22

Clotilde Morin, 24

Mailys Piazzalunga, 31

Zelia Avesou, 39

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Paul Jenft. © Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Paul Jenft joins the “Japan Championship”

Among the men, our young Frenchman Paul Jenft was very lonely in the middle of the Japanese pack who squatted the final by fielding no less than five climbers out of the six selected. The Japanese reservoir of strong climbers seems downright inexhaustible and it will be necessary in the future to take a good interest in a certain Keita Dohi with atypical climbing and size compared to his compatriots. He certainly finished 6th, and therefore last in the final, but he is improving since he was 9th in Meiringen and his calm and efficient climbing is very pleasant to watch…

This weekend’s winner is none other than Kokoro Fujii, the reigning bouldering world champion, ahead of Tomoa Narasaki. The third is Yoshiyuki Ogata while Paul Jenft finishes at the foot of the podium. However, it is very difficult to comment on his climbs since in the last two boulders his passages fell through the cracks of the replay (thank you Eurosport…).

Paul Jenft’s performances at the start of the bouldering season, both in terms of the result (twice 4th in two stages!) and the manner (no obvious weak point against the best on the circuit), are however mind-blowing, especially when you know that our tricolor star is only 18 years old, and that his strong discipline is supposed to be the difficulty!

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The results of the French, out of 52 participants

Paul Jenft, 4

Mejdi Schalck, 7

Sam Dove, 17

Adrian Lemaire, 23

Manu Cornu, 27

Red card to the new IFSC / Eurosport duo

Without going back on the aberration of paid streaming, it would be necessary that at least the retransmissions be integral, of quality and that the passages of the climbers are favored compared to the advertising spots. If the broadcast of the women’s event could globally be watchable and understandable, what chaos for the men’s final! In addition to a few shaky camera shots, you had to hang on to follow the rankings since on the last two blocks (i.e. half of the competition), the first four climbers completely fell through the cracks of viewing, including, among other things, the climbs by Paul Jenft. Ditto for the start of the event which was only broadcast after the passage of the first competitors!

Already, on the previous event in Meiringen, the channel had completely reversed the links between the sports presentation thumbnails on the dashboard and the actual broadcast. By clicking on climbing, we came across electric Formula 1… Very beautiful cars, very eco-friendly, that said.

From there to think that Eurosport does not make fun of climbing and prefers to favor its advertisers, there is only one step… One of the advertisements was however interesting since highlighting a VPN (Virtual Private Network/Réseau virtual private) which allows, let us remember, to circumvent the viewing restriction, applied only to Europe, by residing virtually in other regions of the world and thus access free streaming via the YouTube channel of the IFSC.

Could a boycott of a stage be organized by all the athletes to protest against this situation of which they are the first victims? The question needs to be asked. If they manage to unite in such a decision: no escalation = no competition = no replay. Display only “revolutionary” stickers in favor of a Free Streaming does not seem to be sufficient for the moment to make the IFSC flinch.

This is not the first quack of the international federation this season. We remember in particular the modifications during the competition (!) of the rules at the Meiringen event to finally return to the original and, on this competition, to open, suddenly, in the middle of the night, the access to free viewing of the semi-finals.

This gives the impression that the stages of “mediatization” of our sport are far too fast and that the escalation managed by the current IFSC is simply not yet ready to compete with the more popular sports. To the detriment of the climbers obviously…

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Seoul World Cup: silver medal for Oriane Bertone and fiasco in the broadcast of the event


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