8/23/14 - Adam Ondra and Juliane Wurm won a dramatic Bouldering World Championships in Munich, Germany, on Saturday. American Alex Puccio finished second in the women's competition, needing just one attempt more than Wurm to finish three out of the four final problems.
Both the men's and women's championships came down to the last problem. In fact, the men's final was a cliffhanger throughout, as Germany's Jan Hojer and Ondra from the Czech Republic both sent problems at the very last second, starting their final tries just as the four-minute buzzer rang. Hojer got the third problem on his 10th try!
On the final problem, however, it was the dark horse Jernej Kruder from Slovenia who struck first, finishing the problem to set himself up for a possible win. Ondra then finished No. 4 on his second attempt, meaning Hojer, the 2014 World Cup champion, had four tries for the win. When Hojer came up short, Ondra took gold with four tops in 16 attempts.
After an extremely technical third problem that no woman could complete, the women's final round was a battle between Wurm and Puccio. Problem No. 4 had a trick start, with two or three running steps up a ramp to grab a volume with the fingertips of one hand as the climbers were falling away. Puccio was the first to stick this move and then raced to the top. That meant Wurm, climbing last, had to finish the same problem in six tries or fewer. The 23-year-old fell repeatedly and then, with less than a minute remaining, the German climber suddenly stuck the move and made her way to the top to claim victory in front of a crowd of more than 6,000 fans in Munich's Olympic Stadium.
Puccio had come ever-so-close to a world championship, and her silver medal was a sweet consolation prize after a somewhat disappointing season. She finished sixth in the World Cup this year after placing third overall in 2013.
Bouldering World Championships Men 1. Adam Ondra (CZE) 2. Jernej Kruder (SLO) 3. Jan Hojer (GER) 4. Guillaume Glairon Mondet (FRA) 5. Dmitri Sharafutdinov (RUS) 6. Tsukuru Hori (JAP)
Women 1. Juliane Wurm (GER) 2. Alex Puccio (USA) 3. Akiyo Noguchi (JAP) 4. Shauna Coxsey (UK) 5. Melissa Le Neve (FRA) 6. Michaela Tracy (UK)