A day of Lead will culminate in new world champions being crowned on day six of the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Bern, Switzerland, as the semi-finals gave us the climbers who will battle for medals.

With the Lead finals usually featuring eight climbers, both the men and women will be treated to more climbing as nine women and ten men make it through.

Japan’s Mori Ai showed her class in the Lead discipline progressing in first by reaching hold 52 with her nearest rival, the new Boulder world champion, Janja Garnbret of Slovenia five holds back on 47.

Fresh from a Boulder bronze last night, USA’s Brooke Raboutou is in a good position to add another medal going through in the third spot on hold 44+, one place ahead of Great Britain’s Molly-Thompson-Smith and Italy’s Laura Rogora in fourth.

Both Thompson-Smith and Rogora were a + above the sixth placed climbers, Austria’s Jessica Pilz and South Korea’s Seo Chaehyun who got hold 37.

On 36+, both Japan’s Nonaka Miho and Slovenia’s Mia Krampl make the final in joint eighth spot making up the nine finals climbers. 

Nonaka said: “I think I climbed really well. I didn’t really expect anything, just try to focus on my climbing and did my best. I think I did enough for finals so I just need to try and recover until then. If I can go to the final I would be happy, this is Lead and I’m a boulderer so it’s just a like a dream.”

Full women’s Lead semi-finals results can be found here

In the men’s Lead, Great Britain’s Toby Roberts climbed his way to hold 43+ and into the finals in top spot. 

In second position, the Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra reached hold 39+ and said: “It was probably the most boulder-y and sketchiest semi-final I’ve ever climbed, it was a really special style, especially for the footholds. It felt like half of the route you were campus-ing because the footholds were so small. 

“Given the situation, that it’s the semi-finals of the world championships it was a very hard style to climb. It’s not about winning the semi-finals, it’s about proceeding to the finals and if you want to climb in a controlled way that’s not the way, you just have to go for it, take the risk and go. It’s the only way you can make it to finals.

“Some routes feel really flowy and you have this inner feeling that you are not going to fall and everything feels perfect, but here in about 80% of the moves you can fall, but you just have to go for it.”

Some familiar names in a Lead final with Ondra are Austria’s Jakob Schubert in third and Germany’s Alexander Megos in fourth.

Three Asian climbers are next up with Song Yunchan of South Korea, Yurikusa Ao of Japan and teammate Anraku Sorato all making it through for a chance of a podium. Anraku will be even more determined after missing out on a Boulder medal in Bern.

On hold 29+ and position eight, three climbers will expand the finals action as France’s Paul Jenft, USA’s Sean Bailey and South Korea’s Lee Dohyun all stay in with a medal shot.

Full men’s Lead semi-finals results can be found here

230806 IFSC Media Mori and Roberts top of Lead semi finals in bernJapan's Nonaka Miho in Lead semi-finals action
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC

IFSC World Championships Bern 2023

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