David Lama and Anna Stöhr have won the second stage of the Bouldering World Cup 2008 on the Reunion Island.
The second stage of the Bouldering World Cup was dominated, just like the first in Hall a fortnight ago, by an unbeatable Austrian field. Anna Stöhr won her second competition in a row while teammate David Lama couldn't have fared better, shooting from 23rd in Hall to victory in La Reunion.
33 men and 21 women travelled to France's La Reunion island for the Bouldering World Cup second stage, and they imediately got to grips with a somewhat tricky Semifinal. Olga Shalagina, Yulia Abramchuk and Akiyo Noguchi all qualified with flying colours and they were joined by evergreen Sandrine Levet, last season's World Cup winner Juliette Danion and, only just, by Anna Stöhr. The Austrian struggled to qualify last for the Final with just two tops in total: one attempt less needed to reach a bonus zone separated her from the rest of the field and opened the way to the Final. But in true champion style when it counted she pulled out the stops, topping out on all four Final problems in just 6 attempts. Akiyo Noguchi from Japan topped out on all four as well, but needed 10 attempts in total and therefore took silver, while bronze went to Yulia Abramchuk from Russia who totaled 3 tops in 5 attempts.
If the Semifinal was tough for Stöhr, then it was even tougher for the men. No athlete managed more than 2 boulders and all 6 finalists qualified with an unheard of 2 tops in 2 attempts. But things swung the other way in the final with David Lama, Kilian Fischhuber and Jorg Verhoeven all topping out on the 4 problems in 9 attempts. Once again the score was settled on the basis of bonuses: while the latter two reached these zones in 9 attempts, the reigning European Champion Lama needed just 5 to secure victory. Fischhuber placed second while Verhoeven, originally from Holland but now based in Innsbruck, placed third for an Austrian virtual 123.
The third stage of the Bouldering World Cup will take place in Serbia's Belgrade on 16/17 May.