Danyil Boldyrev (UKR) defended first place and 2017 season runner-up Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) returned to the top of the podium at the 6th Speed event of 2018 in Arco, Italy. In Lead, Janja Garnbret (SLO) won for the third time this year and Jakob Schubert (AUT) earned his second victory at the 4th Lead event.
The popular climber’s town of Arco and long-time IFSC World Cup host welcomed another group of elite Sport Climbers to its towering competition walls for the final Lead and Speed events of July. Finals took place on Saturday evening, beginning with the world’s fastest athletes. Russian Speed stars Kaplina and Mariia Krasavina hung on in tight semi-final races to surpass 2018 leader Anouck Jaubert (FRA) and Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athlete Aleksandra Kalucka (POL). All athletes recorded times under 8 seconds in the medal races. 2017 season runner-up Kaplina returned to the top of the podium by climbing within 1 hundredth of a second of her own Speed world record. Jaubert joined Krasavina on the podium, beating Kalucka by just one thousandth of a second.
For the men, Chamonix winner Boldyrev and Aleksandr Shilov of Russia advanced to the big final after small slips from Villars winner Dmitrii Timofeev (RUS) and Speed world record holder Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI) in the semi-final. Recording only times under 6 seconds in finals, Boldyrev bested Shilov in the last race with the fastest time of the day (5.58s) for back-to-back victories and the lead in the Speed season rankings, and Shilov made it three medals for Russia. In the small final against Timofeev, Alipourshenazandifar rebounded to return to the top of the Speed podium.
Overhanging walls surrounding the Speed well set the stage for the finale in Lead. Anak Verhoeven (BEL) put forth another strong effort in finals but timed out again on the long route for 3rd place. Only two women have won Gold in Lead events this season, and they concluded the women’s final in Arco. Chamonix winner Jessica Pilz (AUT) fought the pump to reach the upper panel and fell a few moves short of the top hold for 2nd place and her fourth podium of the Lead season. Last to climb, 2017 season champion and 2018 season leader Garnbret again set the high point in finals for her third victory and fourth podium in Lead this year. The crowd held their breath when Garnbret held a swing where Pilz fell and reset her feet before latching the winning hold.
The men’s final centred on a technical crux sequence high up on the wall. Chamonix winner Stefano Ghisolfi of Italy set a new high point for the home crowd in falling at the tenuous transition between two volumes. Climbing legend Adam Ondra (CZE) and Domen Skofic (SLO) looked in form but popped off the route just before his mark. Winner in Villars, 2018 season leader Schubert earned another spot atop the podium by keeping the friction with a high heel hook and powerful crossover to complete three more moves for the victory. Skofic placed third over Ondra on countback to semi-finals.
5th in Chamonix, Kalucka continues to excel in the IFSC Speed World Cup. She challenged 2016 season champion Kaplina and 2017 season champion Jaubert in placing 4th in Arco, matching Sandra Lettner (AUT) and YiLing Song (CHN) for the best finish at an IFSC World Cup among Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athletes. In Lead, Chamonix finalist Shuta Tanaka (JPN) returned to finals and placed 5th.
Friday 27th July
09:00 Lead Qualification Men and Women
Saturday 28th July
08:30-11:00 Speed Qualifications
12:00-14:30 Lead Semi-Finals (LIVE) (delayed to 12:30)
18:00 Speed Finals (LIVE)
19:45 Lead Finals Women and Men (LIVE)