Natalia Grossman is one of the favourites for the women's event at the IFSC Boulder World Cup opener ©Getty Images

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Series is set to begin tomorrow in the Japanese city of Hachiōji until Sunday (April 23).

A total of 95 male and 76 female athletes from 40 countries are set to compete in the boulder discipline at the Esforta Arena, which was the venue of the IFSC World Championships in 2019.

American Natalia Grossman is favoured for the women's category after she recorded a run of five consecutive wins in the 2022 Boulder World Cup season.

She is joined by strong compatriots including 2022 and 2021 youth world champion and Olympian Brooke Rabatou.

Germany's Hannah Meul finished the 2022 boulder season strongly with two silver medals in Brixen in Italy and the Austrian city of Innsbruck and will hope the run of medals continues.

While Grossman dominated women's boulder last season, the men's saw six different gold medallists emerge from the six competitions.

Fujii Kokoro is one of 12 Japanese climbers set to compete in the men's event in Hachiōji ©Getty Images
Fujii Kokoro is one of 12 Japanese climbers set to compete in the men's event in Hachiōji ©Getty Images

Japan was one of the top nations of last season with Narasaki Tomoa and Ogata Yoshiyuki both picking up a full set of gold, silver and bronze medals.

The pair are part of a 12-strong Japanese contingent in the men's event. 

European boulder champion Nicolai Uznik of Austria, Spain's Olympic champion Alberto Ginés López, and Belgian youth world champion Hannes Van Duysen are all in Hachiōji for what is set to be a hotly contested competition.

There are several new young climbers making their debuts in World Cup competitions but also some older athletes competing for the first time.

The Filipino trio of 34-year-old Iman Mora and 30-year-old John Joseph Veloria are due to appear in the men's contest while 32-year-old Nicole Liana Mora is registered for the women's.

The Hachiōji event is due to be the 387th senior World Cup and 145th Boulder World Cup competition on the IFSC circuit.