Prague Boulder World Cup Preview

Adam Ondra and Janja Garnbret return for the Prague 2023 IFSC Boulder World Cup

Vew of Prague bridge, the castle and the old town.
Bridge in Prague © Unsplash

The World Cup circuit returns to Europe this weekend with the Prague Boulder World Cup in Czechia. Prague successfully hosted a Boulder European Cup last year, and we return this year for an international World Cup.

We will see the return of Adam Ondra and Janja Garnbret to the World Cup Circuit for the first time this season. Can Janja become the fourth different female World Cup winner? Adam’s last Boulder World Cup win was in Salt Lake City 2021. How will he compare to the latest young climbers, including Mejdi Schalck?

So far, the World Cup circuit has seen an exciting start to the season. We have seen new holds and new moves, and with Prague, we visit a new city for a Boulder World Cup.

We have seen the arrival of Mejdi Schalck, who looks on another level. Tomoa Narasaki’s win in Salt Lake City puts him in first place for the overall ranking ahead of Schalck, with Hannes Van Duysen in third.

The three gold medalists in the women’s make up the top 3 ranking for women overall, with Brooke Raboutou in first place due to her consistency over the 3 rounds (1st, 3rd, 3rd), Natalia Grossman in second and Miho Nonaka in third.

Each of these World Cups has offered athletes the chance to gain points towards the combined Boulder&Lead ranking, determining who will be invited to the Olympic Qualification Series next year.

Who to Watch

Adam Ondra returns to competition for the first time since the European Continental Championship last August in Munich, where he won Gold in Lead, Silver in Boulder&Lead combined and Bronze in Boulder. Adam has attended world cups sporadically over the years; he has competed on the circuit since 2009 and won seven Boulder World Cups. You would be a fool to write him off.

Mejdi Schalck returns after his domination in Japan and South Korea and will be hard to stop. The style in which he won the two competitions makes him one of the favourites for this competition. He looks completely different compared to last year and everyone else.

Eight Japanese men will also be attending, including the gold medalist from Salt Lake City, Tomora Narasaki, the rising star of Japanese climbing, Sorato Anraku, and Kokoru Fuji, who will return after picking up an injury in Seoul.

Janja Garnbret returns to competition after recovering from foot surgery. Despite not competing this year, she is the runaway favourite to win the competition. Garnbret is not registered for Brixen next weekend but will be back in Innsbruck for both Boulder and Lead competitions.

At the last competition in Salt Lake City, we saw the return of Natalia Grossman, topping all of the boulders and flashing 9 of them, showing a return to her form of the 2021/2022 season.

Grossman has pulled out from attending Prague, but she is registered for Brixen and Innsbruck.

Other notable absences for the women include Hannah Meul, Brooke Raboutou, Annie Sanders, Anon Matsufuji and Fanny Gilbert. With so many absences, Oriane Bertone, Miho Nonaka and Ayala Kerem are the ones to watch below Garnbret.

★ ★ ★ Janja Garnbret
★ ★
Miho Nonaka, Oriane Bertone, Ayala Kerem
★ ★ ★ Mejdi Schalck
★ ★ Adam Ondra, Tomoa Narasaki
Hannes Van Duysen, Sorato Anraku, Jongwon Chon


The World Cup is being held outdoors, so the weather will play an important factor. Fortunately, it looks like we will have a sunny and dry weekend with a nice breeze.

  • Friday – Sunny and 20ºC, 25% chance of rain, 28 km/h winds, 87% humidity.
  • Saturday – 17 º C, no rain, 15 km/h wind, 79% humidity
  • Sunday – 20 º C, no rain, 19 km/h wind, 75% humidity

Where to Watch and When

The semi-finals and finals will be streamed live at

  • Saturday 3rd June: Men Bouldering Semi-Finals and Finals (12pm & 8 pm CEST/6 am EST & 2 pm EST)
  • Sunday 4th June: Women Bouldering Semi-finals & Finals (12pm & 7pm CEST/6am EST & 1pm EST)

You will be able to watch on

  • Eurosport and Eurosport Player within Europe
  • ESPN Latin America and the Olympic Channel for Central and South America
  • TVRI in Indonesia
  • The IFSC YouTube Channel for other countries

You will be able to catch up on the competition 24 hours afterwards on the Olympic Channel.

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