What a Rookie Season! Sorato Anraku Is Headed to the Olympics

It’s hard to remember a rookie season as incredible as the one Japan’s Sorato Anraku just had. He made the finals at every Lead World Cup event this year, earning sixth in Villars, fourth in Innsbruck, bronze in Chamonix, and gold in Briançon, Koper, and Wujiang. He also won silver at the Lead World Championships. In the Boulder World Cup, he won silver in Salt Lake City and gold in Innsbruck. All this success resulted in him being overall champion for both Boulder and Lead.

At the IFSC Asian Qualifier Boulder & Lead Combined event in Jakarta, Indonesia this weekend, Anraku continued his season of jaw-dropping performances with another first place victory. And this time he didn’t just win a gold medal – he’s also earned a spot to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. His success this year would be an incredible achievement for any climber. What makes it even more impressive is the fact that this was his first year competing on the open IFSC circuit. He is undeniably one of the best Lead and Boulder competitive climbers in the world – and he’s only 16 years old.

In Jakarta, Anraku placed first in both the qualifying and semi-final rounds, setting him up well for the finals. In the finals, he was the only competitor to top all four problems in the Boulder round. He flashed the first three and topped the final problem on his fourth attempt, leaving him with a near perfect score of 99.7 heading into the Lead round. In the Lead round, he was once again the only climber to top the climb. We won gold and an Olympic ticket with a near perfect score of 199.7.

Sorato Anraku on the Lead wall in Jakarta. Photo by Lena Drapella/IFSC.

“I’m so happy to get the Olympic ticket,” said Anraku after his win. “I was quite calm on the boulders and I performed well. I didn’t know the scores in Lead and I don’t want to know them. I just focused on myself and getting to the top. Now I want a gold medal in Paris.”

Anraku was joined on the podium by China’s Yufei Pan from China, who earned silver, and South Korea’s Dohyun Lee, who won bronze. Pan earned 164.9 points, and Lee 132.5 – both well behind Anraku.

Anraku with his Olympic ticket. Photo by Lena Drapella/IFSC.

In women’s, it was a much tighter competition. Miho Nonaka of Japan came out of the Boulder round in first, after topping two problems and earning 64.9 points overall. She had a solid showing in the Lead round, earning 76 points. China’s Yuetong Zhang climbed highest on the Lead wall, racking up 88 points to add to her 54.2 points in Boulder. This secured her victory, a gold medal win, and that coveted Olympic ticket. Prior to this comp, her best showing this year in IFSC competition was a fourth place finish at the Lead World Cup in Wujiang in September.

“Before this competition I didn’t think I could make it,” said Zhang after winning gold in Jakarta. “I don’t know what to say – it’s all a bit too fast, but right now it is exciting and surprising. It is a dream come true. I thought maybe the best I could do here was a podium and the gold was impossible because there are many strong girls – the Japanese and Korean girls, and China had another strong girl in the final – so I’m really surprised.”

Yuetong Zhang with her Olympic ticket. Photo by Lena Drapella/IFSC.

Men’s Final Results

Sorato Anraku (199.7) [JPN]
Yufei Pan (164.9) [CHN]
Dohyun Lee (132.5) [KOR]
Yoshiyuki Ogata (117.2) [JPN]
Meichi Narasaki (70.6) [JPN]
Jongwon Chon (66.8) [KOR]
Raviandi Ramadhan (57.7) [INA]
Yunchan Song (23.0) [KOR]

Women’s Final Results

Yuetong Zhang (142.3) [CHN]
Miho Nonanka (140.9) [JPN]
Futaba Ito (135.8) [JPN]
Chaehyun Seo (124.4) [KOR]
Zhilu Luo (121.3) [CHN]
Jain Kim (108.6) [KOR]
Nonoha Kume (100.3) [JPN]
Sukma Lintang Cahyani (43.6) [INA]

Zhang on the boulders in Jakarta. Photo by Lena Drapella/IFSC.

List of Athletes Qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics

Men: Jakob Schubert (AUT), Colin Duffy (USA), Tomoa Narasaki (JPN), Jesse Grupper (USA), Toby Roberts (GBR), Sorato Anraku (JPN)

Women: Janja Garnbret (SLO), Jessica Pilz (AUT), Ai More (JPN), Natalia Grossman (USA), Oriane Bertone (FRA), Yuetong Zhang (CHN)

Asian Qualifier Men’s Boulder & Lead Final

Asian Qualifier Women’s Boulder & Lead Final

The post What a Rookie Season! Sorato Anraku Is Headed to the Olympics appeared first on Gripped Magazine.

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