Preview of the first IFSC Bouldering World Cup of 2024 in Keqiao

The 2024 IFSC World Cup season starts in China on Monday, 8th April in Keqaio.

Janja Garnbret topping a boulder in the women’s Boulder qualification during the IFSC 2023 Boulder World Championships
Janja Garnbret starts her season in Keqaio, China © Lena Drapella / IFSC.

The 2024 IFSC World Cup season starts in China on Monday, 8th April, with two World Cups in Keqaio and Wujiang spanning the whole week.

The competition starts an exciting year. The season is dominated by the Olympic Qualifier Series in May and June and the Olympics in August, with the World Cups fitting in around them. There are only five World Cups this season, and everyone counts towards the overall. With athletes focused on the Olympics, this may allow others to shine.

While the World Cup circuit has visited Wujiang many times, eight times so far, this is the first time the World Cup has visited Keqaio, a district of Shaoxing City in the east of China near Hangzhou and Shanghai. The venue previously hosted sport climbing at the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2022 and stands on the site of an abandoned quarry. The venue features a unique design around the shape of a silkworm cocoon and is open to the elements.

The Keqaio Sport Climbing venue covered in lights during the Speed Climbing final at the 19th Asian Games in 2023
Keqaio hosted sport climbing at the 19th Asian Games in 2023. It has permeant competition Lead, Boulder and Speed walls © Dimitris Tosidis / IFSC

Keqaio will have the first RED-S screening of athletes on Sunday, 7th April, in the morning before athletes officially register in the afternoon.

Who to Watch out for

There are 136 athletes registered for the event, 73 male and 63 female, including 10 2024 Olympians. 83 athletes competing in Keqaio will also compete in Wujiang at the Lead and Speed World Cup. It is worth noting that registered athletes are not required to attend a World Cup, as we saw multiple times last year.

The 10 2024 Olympians registered are Janja Garnbret, Jessica Pilz, Yuetong Zhang, ‌‌Oceana Mackenzie, Jakob Schubert, ‌ Toby Roberts, Sorato Anraku, Tomoa Narasaki, ‌ Colin Duffy and ‌ Campbell Harrison.

47 athletes, 25 men and 22 women, qualified for the OQS registered to compete in Keqiao. We will see Stasa Gejo, who won Dockmasters in early February and the early standout of 2023 Hannes van Duysen standout. We will also see 2022 European Champion Nicolai Uznik, Hannah Meul, ‌Ayala Kerem, 2024 Italian Champion Camilla Moroni and Alma Bestvater, who will make her come back after a horrific injury put her out for two years. Olympic Champion Alberto Ginés López is also registered despite having pulled out from Studio Bloc Masters 2024 with a toe injury last month. Max Milne looked back to his 2022 form after finishing 2nd at CWIF last month.

We will also see several newcomers. Brothers Ravianto Ramadhan and Raviandi Ramadhan from Indonesia will compete in their first-ever Boulder World Cup. Nekaia Sanders and Helen Gibert will compete for the USA in their first international World Cup.

Team Japan is sending 15 athletes to the competition, 9 men and 6 women. We will see Miho Nonaka, Futaba Ito, and ‌Mao Nakamura, who won the Japan Boulder Cup 2024 in February. We will also get to see all of the Japanese male bouldering team, including Yoshiyuki Ogata, Meichi Narasaki, ‌Sohta Amagasa, ‌Satone Yoshida, ‌Yuji Inoue, ‌Kodai Yamada and Ritsu Kayotani in addition to Sorato Anraku and Tomoa Narasaki.

Other strong teams attending include China, which is sending 14 athletes, including previous World Cup medalist Zhilu Luo. Slovenia is sending 9, Germany 8, and the UK and USA 7 athletes, respectively.

Six athletes from South Korea are registered, including World Cup winners Dohyun Lee and Jongwon Chon. Jain Kim and Chaehyun Seo are also registered.

While Oriane Bertone is absent, we will see her compatriots Fanny Gilbert and Zelia Avezou, Boulder World Champion Mickael Mawem, World Cup silver medalist Sam Avezou and World Cup winner Manuel Cornu.

Several top athletes are missing, including Brooke Raboutou, Natalia Grossman, Oriane Bertone, Vita Lukan, Annie Sanders, Jenja Kazbekova and Ai Mori. Also absent are Mejdi Schalck, Adam Ondra, Yannick Flohé, and Alex Megos. 2021 World Champion Kokoru Fuji, who failed to qualify for the Japanese team, is off to Finland to try Burden of Dreams instead.

With other strong women absent, Janja Garnbret is the clear favourite, with Miho Nonaka, Jain Kim, and Petra Klinger the only other athletes registered who have won a Boulder World Cup. The opposite is true of the men, with 9 Boulder World Cup winners registered:‌ Tomoa Narasaki, Sorato Anraku, Toby Roberts,‌ Dohyun Lee, Yoshiyuki Ogata, Manuel Cornu, Jongwon Chon, Jakob Schubert, and Collin Duffy.

★ ★ ★ Janja Garnbret
★ ★
Miho Nonaka, Hannah Meul, Stasa Gejo, Chaehyun Seo, Ayala Kerem, Oceana Mackenzie
★ ★ ★ Tomoa Narasaki, Sorato Anraku, Toby Roberts,‌ Dohyun Lee
★ ★ Yoshiyuki Ogata, Colin Duffy, Meichi Narasaki,
Jakob Schubert, Max Milne, Hannes van Duysen, Sam Avezou


With the venue open to the elements, the weather will play a key role. As of writing, there is a 59% chance of rain in the morning on Monday during qualification, but dry on Tuesday and Wednesday with temperatures around 18-22ºC and 25% humidity. The air quality is poor throughout, with recommendations for individuals to limit outdoor activity.

Monday 8th April – Qualification

  • 9:00 Women, 16:00 Men (Not streamed)

Tuesday 9th April – Women

  • Semi-finals 12:00 (CST, UTC+8) / 6:00 (CEST) / 00:00 (EDT)
  • Finals: 19:00 (CHN, UTC+8) / 13:00 (CEST) / 7:00 (EDT)

Wednesday 10th April – Men

  • Semi-finals 12:00 (CST, UTC+8) / 6:00 (CEST) / 00:00 (EDT)
  • Finals 19:00 (CHN, UTC+8) / 13:00 (CEST) / 7:00 (EDT)

Follow the live results on the IFSC results website or the IFSC World Cup App on iOS or Android.

Where to Watch

You can watch the competition on

  • 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 can catch up on the competition 24 hours afterwards on the Olympic Channel.

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