Alex Puccio wins the Rock Master 2012 Boulder Female Competition

First out was Juliane Wurm who seemed to send the first problem with ease, and while this proved a good warm-up for Melissa Le Neve and Alex Puccio, Katharina Saurwein struggled a bit but then sent it, too. Next out were the three who had made their way from Friday's Open and along came the first little surprise: Olga Iakovleva who had done so well in the qualification failed on her first attempt. As did Valey Kremer and Annalisa De Marco.

Fotostrecke: Rock Master 2012 Boulder Female

Fotos: © Giulio Malfer

So the battle was now on between these last three. Ikovleva rescued herself by sending the problem second go, Kremer then climbed high while De Marco fell low: she was the first to be eliminated. Yes, evidently this first problem was set well: two small volumes which needed to be dominated to then grab the two black holds which led to the top… „easy“ for the first 4 but a significant test for the others.

Things changed on problem #2. Became far more complicated, more acrobatic. The menu included getting established on the star-shaped volume to reach two completely smooth, parallel volumes and then dyno to the top. Everyone tried and tried again but no one managed to unlock the problem. The last move was that dyno into nothing, and ensuing landing onto the mattress, which Melissa Le Neve hit face on, though thankfully without serious consequences. Yes, here the going got tough, to reach the last hold the athletes really needed to fly.

And while Puccio and Kremer failed to even get set for the dyno on their first attempt, Iakovleva was suddenly inspired and discovered how to shuffle her feet upwards. A great move and fantastic idea since the dyno was shorter and the top… hers! This was Iakovleva at her best, the one we'd become accustomed to during the Open. And this happened to also be the only top, forcing Kremer to leave the stage.

Problem #3 was about pure power. A battle past large volumes, matching hand and feet, pinches and deep lock-offs. Katharina Saurwein and Alex Puccio had no trouble whatsoever and sent this straight off, demonstrating that where raw power is needed they can be of help. Le Neve for her part got close to the top but although she failed to send it, she forced Wurm and Iakovleva to take a bow and exit.

Final problem. The decisive boulder. With only three athletes left. Le Neve, Puccio and Saurwein. This problem proved even stiffer still, combining raw power with a double-dyno. Which Alex Puccio dealt witheffortlessly, reaching the top in a blink of an eye and demonstrating winning grit and power.This is how things would then end: Melissa Le Neve and Katharina Saurwein, now under pressure, failed to send the problem, with Le Neve climbing highest to finish second, while Katharina Saurwein placed third. So Alex Puccio from Texas, 23-years-old and sixth in the world ranking, is the winner of Rock Master Boulder 2012. Or, as some commented, the first of these „flying boulder problems“.

Results women Rock Master Boulder 2012

1 Puccio Alex USA
2 Le Neve Melissa FRA
3 Saurwein Katharina AUT
4 Wurm Juliane GER
5 Iakovleva Olga RUS
6 Kremer Valery ISR
7 De Marco Annalisa ITA