the male podium of the Bouldering World Championships consisted of Jan Hojer, born 1992 near Cologne in Germany, Jernej Kruder, born 1990 in Celje in Slovenia and Adam Ondra, born 1993 in Brno in the Czech Republic.
From the qualifications on, it became clear that Alex Puccio and Juliane Wurm were in their best shape ever. Alex had skipped the last two events of the Bouldering World Cup 2014 to re-charge her batteries with some of the hardest rock bouldering ever done by a woman.
The third contender for the title was Japan’s Akiyo Noguchi, winner of the 2014 Bouldering World Cup, her third overall title after 2009 and 2010.
With Anna Stöhr injured and other potential shoo-ins like Miho Nonoka and Shauna Coxsey not in peak shape the Bouldering World Championships in Munich became a battle between Akiyo, Alex and Jule. Only Alex and Jule could climb problem #3 in the semis by showing some of the strongest performances in bouldering competition history. Jule won the semis, followed by Akiyo. Both needed two tries for the first problem in the finals, which Alex had flashed. Than, after tremendous struggle, Akiyo couldn’t top problem #2, Alex needed two tries and Jule flashed it. That problem was hard !
After problem #3 didn’t see an ascent, it came down to problem #4 between Alex and Jule. Whoever would do it with fewer tries would become Bouldering World Champion 2014! After Alex needed just 6 attempts, the pressure was on Jule. She kept it together though and secured her first world title! If you want to learn more about Juliane Wurm, please check out our 2011 portrait „Jule dreams of bouldering" If you want to get an idea about the training of Juliane Wurm and the German Bouldering Team, check out our playlist.
My job as head coach of the German Alpine club's Bouldering team has many faces. It includes to facilitate thinking or learning new behaviour and improve physical skills for personal growth and advancement in the demands of bouldering contests. Another aspect is to transfer as much of my knowledge and experience to my climbers. I’m involved in all the aspects of the sport, including physical and mental development and the application of tactics and strategies during the contests. Competitive bouldering is relatively young so common sense on training program design and injury prevention is not yet established. Climbing is mostly a self-taught activity up to a certain age so that some athletes are not used to being coached. We than have to establish a practise of feedback and critique. The athlete perceives a contest from a first person perspective, feeling a slippery hold or fading strength first hand - whereas I have an outside overview - observing body language, comparing the competitors’ different solutions and keeping the judging in check. To bring these two perceptions to match and to keep the communication running so that we both benefit from our different perspectives is the biggest challenge for any coach.
Often I just ask questions and offer opportunities that will challenge my athletes to find answers from within him- or herself.
The four German Bouldering Team trainings, 2009-2014 videos show some of the methods we tried out and experimented with over the last five years.
It should be noted that the World Cup in Haiyang was a very weak one, taking place in a ghost town without any real spectators. As a result (?), route setting was weak too, but these issues are the subject of another analysis in the future, let’s talk about the bouldering instead for now!
Before these two world cups, Jan Hojer and Dmitry Sharafutdinov were just a view points apart, as were Shauna Coxsey and Akiyo Noguchi.
Jan and Dmitri were looking forward to a friendly death match when Dmitri ran into some personal problems that clearly were not helping his bouldering. For the first time in ages he failed to qualify for the finals.
Especially at the end of the season Shauna and Akiyo climbed clearly better than the other girls through all the rounds.
Haiyang was won by Akiyo Noguchi and Jan Hojer.