|The first edition of the Xsport Corextreme Summer Games took place in Tokyo from 25-27 August and followed much the same lines as the famous American Xgames. |
Climbing was one of the sports represented and the competition formula involved a Semi-final on-sight and a redpoint Final. The first 6 athletes heading the CUWR were invited as well as a dozen Japanese athletes.
Saturday's Semi-final started at midday on a route set by Yann Gesquir. The intense heat and monstrous humidity really put the athletes to the test and no one topped out. Yuji Hirayama climbed highest, followed closely by Cristian Brenna just one hold below and François Legrand, who seems to have refound his form.
On Sunday morning the athletes were given 30 minutes each to work the 57 move redpoint route. A slightly overhanging initial section, highly technical and fingery, led to the base of a roof. This was breached by a long traverse from left to right and followed by 11 pumpy moves to the top.
The Final got underway at 20.30 and the first four athletes all failed to reach the small rest at the base of the roof. Dai Koyamada, starting fifth, reached the rest but soon fell getting established over the lip. Cristian Brenna climbed one hold higher but was immediately overtaken by François Legrand who, climbing fantastically, fell just 5 moves from the top. Last out was Yuji Hirayama, the idol of the Japanese fans. He didn't disappoint. Climbing swiftly he dispensed with the first section effortlessly, looked a bit uncertain on the roof, got established on the slab, and then stormed to within 3 holds of the top. His the first title and the generous prize money.
Congratulations to the impeccable organisation for the successful competition, organised in just over a month, and the hospitality shown. Congratulations also to the route setter Yann Gesquir and his two Japanese helpers for the excellent routes.