Natalia Grossman, Brooke Raboutou Go 1-2 In Bouldering World Cup In Salt Lake City
by Todd Kortemeier
Brooke Raboutou competes during the women's sport climbing combined final at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 6, 2021 in Tokyo.
Natalia Grossman didn’t come into the final boulder of the night in the lead, but one quick trip up the wall changed that to earn her a second consecutive world cup gold medal in Salt Lake City.
Grossman was the only climber in the women’s competition to manage four tops and four zones on Sunday, doing so in nine attempts. Her teammate, Tokyo Olympian Brooke Raboutou, needed to score a top in five attempts on the fourth and final boulder to earn a silver medal but it only took her one. She and Japan’s Miho Nonaka each had three tops and four zones, but Raboutou accomplished hers in fewer attempts.
The 20-year-old Grossman, of Boulder, Colorado, will extend her lead atop the world cup standings as she continues her dominant start to the season. She’s medaled in all three events thus far as she looks to defend her bouldering title from 2021. The reigning world champion fed off a home crowd cheering her on.
“So excited, I think just being on home turf and having the crowd cheer me on made it so much better,” Grossman said afterward.
Raboutou, 20, and also from Boulder, improved on her performance from two weekends ago in Seoul, where she earned bronze.
No U.S. men made the bouldering final, but Sean Bailey, Ross Fulkerson, Simon Hibbeler and Charles Barron all made the semis with Bailey and Fulkerson earning top-10 finishes. Climbers will stay put as a second Salt Lake City event is up next on the world cup calendar, something the members of Team USA are no doubt excited for.
“I honestly haven’t thought about (the next Salt Lake City world cup) too much because I’ve been focused on the first one, but I’m really excited,” said Grossman.