Clash of the Titans: Legends Only 2018
On Saturday, six of the world’s strongest male climbers from across the globe gathered in Stockholm, Sweden to duke it out in the eighth rendition of La Sportiva’s invitation-only redpoint boulder competition. Legends Only alternates between male and female climbers annually. This year’s installment featured a roster with powerhouse male climbers like Rei Sugimoto and Jernej Kruder, as well as the German wunderkind Alex Megos and the longtime American superstar Chris Sharma. The six competitors competed to redpoint four problems, having practiced them a few days prior, and then worked to onsight a fifth surprise problem.
First out was Japan’s Rei Sugimoto, the gold medalist from this year’s Vail World Cup and overall third place in the IFSC Bouldering World Cup season. Sugimoto barn-doored hard off the opening lateral dyno of Problem 1, as did Sharma, who followed him. The Russian climber Alexey Rubtsov, who finished fourth overall in 2018’s IFSC Bouldering World Cup, easily stuck the opening dyno and the following one, cruising up through crimps to score a top on his first attempt.
The reigning champion of Legends Only, the lanky Jongwon Chon of Korea, completed the opening moves to the bonus, but got stuck on a deadpoint. After three failed attempts, he managed to pull up and battle to the top, blowing air kisses to the crowd as he walked off the mats.