Nicolas Collin was the surprise winner of bouldering gold at The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama on Friday (15 July), dropping to the mat in delight on completing the final obstacle of four in one try.
The nursing student from Brussels beat the professional climbing pair from Japan of Kokoro Fujii and Yoshiyuki Ogata with Fujii, the current bouldering world champion, claiming silver, and Ogata, the 2017 World Games gold medallist, bagging bronze.
Currently 53rd in the international governing body's ranking for bouldering – one of three disciplines of competitive climbing – Collin only just made the final, qualifying in sixth. So beating such heavyweights as the Japanese superstars had the crowd on their feet.
The women's competition took place later in the evening, with the home crowd hoping for another American winner after Emma Hunt claimed gold in the speed event on Thursday (14 July). However, it was Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist in the combined event, Japan's Nonaka Miho, who did one better to claim World Games gold in a super-competitive final that had the crowd roaring in appreciation.
Slovenia's Katja Debevec grabbed silver while Nonaka's compatriot, Nakamura Mao just pipped Switzerland's Sofya Yokoyama to the final podium place. The United States' Kylie Cullen came fifth, with Israel's Ayala Kerem sixth.
The final event of sport climbing at The World Games 2022 – the lead climb – is scheduled for Saturday (16 July).
Full results from the event in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, can be found here.
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