Noah Bratschi (L) poses on the podium after the men's speed final at the 2022 IFSC World Cup on May 21, 2022 in Salt Lake City.
After picking up an injury and not being at his best at the climbing world cup earlier this month in Seoul, South Korea, Noah Bratschi wrote on Instagram that he planned to make up for it at the next world cup in Salt Lake City.
Bratschi did that and more Friday in the men’s speed competition, making it to the final and finishing in second for the best world cup finish of his career. Bratschi knocked off American record holder John Brosler in the quarterfinals, then beat world No. 1 Veddriq Leonardo of Indonesia to make the final. It was another Indonesian, Kiromal Katibin, who walked away with the gold after Bratschi fell.
The 21-year-old Bratschi from Potomac, Maryland, earned his first career world cup podium. The 2018 youth world championships silver medalist competed at his first senior world championships last year in Moscow and earned a bronze medal. Bratschi’s previous best world cup finish was a 14th in July 2021.
Bratschi was one of five U.S. men to make the finals. In addition to he and Brosler, Sam Watson also made the quarterfinals.
On the women’s side, Emma Hunt came up just shy of her second medal of the world cup season. She advanced to the semifinals but suffered close losses there and in the small final to finish just off the podium in fourth.
Speed climbers can look forward to a second event in Salt Lake City next weekend, while competition continues this weekend in bouldering.