A Second Villars Victory for SHIKOV; JAUBERT Earns First Gold of Season
Two months after the last speed climbing competition, the speed athletes return in Villars, Switzerland for the highly anticipated fourth IFSC Speed World Cup of 2019 and did not fail to bring the excitement with many results coming down to an athlete’s ability to recover from slips on the wall.
The times clocked in during qualifications were some of the fastest qualification times of the season. One of the highlights of the event was the appearance of Bouldering Champion Miho NONAKA (JPN) on the list of finalists with a time of 8.571 seconds. This is the first time that someone on Team Japan has advanced to a speed final.
Russia Claims the Podium
In the first round of the men’s competition, reigning 2018 Speed Champion, Bassa MAWEM (FRA) faced Italian climber and Wujiang bronze medalist, Ludovico Fossali before advancing to the next round with World Record Holder, Reza ALIPOURSHENZANDIFAR (IRI). Their showdown began with some technical difficulties, increasing the suspense, but MAWEM pulled though for the win after a slip from his competitor. During the same round, Dmitrii TIMOFEEV (RUS) took down compatriot Vladislav DEULIN by a mere 0.02 seconds.
Going into the final rounds for the men, TIMOFEEV looked like the man to beat, while MAWEM appeared to be the crowd favorite. Aleksandr SHIKOV (RUS) and Jan KRIZ (CZE) were up first with SHIKOV advancing to the final to face TIMOFEEV who beat MAWEM in a tight race.
Both of the men’s finals ultimately came down to falls, with TIMOFEEV and MAWEM failing to complete either of their races and finishing in second and fourth place respectively. In his race against KRIZ, MAWEM slipped several times but appeared to be catching up at the top until falling at the end, leaving KRIZ with third place. This is the second year in a row that SHIKOV has won the Villars Speed World Cup.
A Close Finish
After her early exit in Wujiang due to a slip at the start, YiLing SONG (CHN) was looking to redeem herself and win her third gold medal of 2019, while Anouck JAUBERT (FRA), 2018 Speed Champion, had her eyes on her first win of the season.
In the second round of the women’s competition, JAUBERT went head-to-head with Anna TSYGANOVA (RUS), another top speed contender. JAUBERT started off stronger and was able to keep the lead to the end. She then faced Elizaveta IVANOVA (RUS) in the third round and moved ahead to the finals after a false start from her competitor.
During the small final, IVANOVA was able to redeem herself after the false start by beating Di NUI (CHN) and earning bronze.
The final race of the night was between SONG and JAUBERT. SONG started off the race at a blistering pace and held the lead until the final moment, slipping before the jump to the top, giving the win to JAUBERT. With these results, both SONG and JAUBERT are now tied in the overall speed rankings for 2019, with only two competitions left.
A Gold For Switzerland; Another Win for GARNBRET
The 2019 Lead season kicked-off with a spectacular competition in sunny Villars-Sur-Ollon in Switzerland. Despite the heat, the climbers pressed onward, determined to start the upcoming series of competitions on the right foot.
A Gold on Home Soil
After the first four climbers smoothly climbed up the entirety of the route, with only two falls on the attempt on the last hold, it appeared as if each of the men’s competitors were going to reach the top of the wall. However, while going to clip in after clearing a difficult section, Yuki HADA’s (JPN)foot slipped and he was the first off the wall before nearing the end.
Local favorite, Sascha LEHMANN (SUI) followed HADA’s fall with an easy climb to the top, celebrating in style to the cheers of the Swiss crowd and takes a tentative first place on home soil with top climbers Domen SKOFIC (SLO) and Tomoa NARASAKI coming up after him.
In a shocking turn of events, neither of the final two competitors were able to secure the top hold. SKOFIC attempted to dyno the final move and slipped off, while the seemingly composed Tomoa NARASAKI fell with only a couple holds left to go.
Kokoro FUJII (JPN) who had narrowly missed out on the top was later bumped down to last place after a technical issue at the beginning of his climb.
GARNBRET Starts of Lead with Gold
While the first two-thirds of the women’s route seemed easy enough with each of the athletes smoothly tackling the dynamic movements and large slopers, it was the crimp near the top that stopped them all in their tracks. As each climber made their attempt at the apparent crux of the route, the anticipation was growing among the crowd; who would be the first one to move past it?
Of course, it was Janja GARNBRET (SLO), winner of the 2019 Bouldering Season and the only women’s competitor to top the semi-final wall, without a chalk bag no less. But the excitement was short-lived as GARNBRET failed to stick the following hold.
The two others to take the podium alongside the Slovenian climber were SEO and Ai MORI (JPN).
The complete event results can be found on this dedicated event page.
IN THE MEDIA