Studio Bloc Masters qualifying report and album
Studio Bloc Masters is the second big (in fact huge) competition of the year. With some 500 climbers packing the huge gym in Pfungstadt for qualifying, day one was a crazy, chalky affair!
This weekend boasted again what you would call an impressive World Cup level line up but with subtle changes from that featured in the Rab CWIF of a week ago.
Gracie Martin was the sole Brit in attendance, and several of the Swiss including Petra Klingler were in training camp so also missing.
However, Studio Bloc had the whole incredibly strong looking Slovenian and Austrian teams in attendance.
The format of a single extended qualifying period where all the climbers went head to head worked well. The climbers had to get their top 20 boulders from a selection of 80 on offer. The hardest 20 being Black, followed by White, Blue and Red respectively.
In the women’s field it was all about Janja Garnbret. The young Slovenian star looked incredible in the ease with which she dispatched problem after problem. The setting style was more dynamic and coordination based with a nice blend of power problems thrown in for good measure and Janja lapped it all up. Behind her Stasa Gejo held off Jule Wurm for 2nd and Julija Kruder, Andrea Kumin and Katja Kadic filled out the top six of the 20 progressing to semi’s. So 3 of the top 6 were Slovenian, and if you recall that Stasa lives and studies there you could say effectively 4… Must be something in the water.
Unable to match his girlfriends performance, Domen Scofic is in 2nd going into semi’s behind Chon Jongwon who again climbed incredibly in qualification. Chon found in 2016 he took some time building momentum into the season with poor finishes in Meiringen and Kazo so has opted for bigger pre-season schedule, one that seems to be paying off so far.
In 3rd from qualis came Jakob Schubert, edging Alexey Rubtsov, Jernej Kruder and Jan Hojer. The top 20 looking just like a World cup semi. It is worth noting the setting style was more of what we are used to seeing in competition and it meant several who missed the cut in Sheffield are back in the hunt.
For some of the qualifying action on Facebook live video check out The Circuit Climbing Facebook page.
Following is a selection of photos. For the full album jump across to our Smugmug page and check them out. As always free download is fine for personal social media use.
Head to this link for the live stream action!