Adam Ondra at an open training session before the Bouldering World Cup in Prague, May 30, 2023, Prague.
Prague – The world's best climbers came to the Czech Republic for the Bouldering World Cup, which will take place from Friday to Sunday in Prague at Letná. The biggest hope of the numerous home team will be Adam Ondra, the bronze medalist in this discipline from last year's European Championship in Munich.
The World Cup is returning to the Czech Republic after fourteen years, in 2009 there was a competition in Brno in difficulty climbing, and then the young Ondra did not do very well. This time, a discipline that is not so close to him awaits him. Last year in Prague, he won the European Bouldering Cup, but the World Cup is a much higher level.
“This time, for example, the qualifying boulders will be really very demanding. Usually at the World Cups, the qualifying, semi-final and final boulders are not significantly different in difficulty. As a rule, for example, the semi-final is a little more difficult than the final. The final focuses a little on the effect for the spectators to make it watchable . The semi-final round is usually the most physically difficult,” explained Ondra at a recent press conference.
The World Cup in Prague is his first race of the season, in which he focuses primarily on the World Championships in Bern in August. His main goal will be to advance from the qualification to Saturday's twenty-man semi-final. The men's competition culminates on Saturday from 20:00 with a six-man final.
The favorites will be the strong Japanese Kokoro Fujii and Tomoa Narasaki, the top two from last year's World Bouldering Championship. The reigning European champion Nicolai Uznik from Austria also came to Prague. Among the women, there is no shortage of today's best climber Janja Garbretová. Like Ondra, the Slovenian star is starting the season in Prague, before which she struggled with a big toe injury.
The women's qualification will be on Friday afternoon, the semi-finals and finals are scheduled for Sunday. Eliška Adamovská, who finished sixth in the European Bouldering Cup in Prague last year, will be the first member of the Czech team. However, she has not yet made a mark in the World Cup this season.
Similar to other Czech climbers, Adamovská is stronger in difficulty climbing. This is also why the chairman of the union, Jan Bloudek, does not want to create pressure on the Czech representatives. “For me, any points we can get will be nice. If we can make it to the semi-finals, it will be a huge success, and beyond that it's a lottery. It depends a lot on how it's built, how it fits,” he said.
Thanks to higher quotas for the host country, six Czech representatives will compete in each category.