LEAD RECORDS BROKEN BY MORI AND SCHUBERT IN BERN
In a day of Lead climbing at the IFSC World Championships in Bern, Switzerland, both men’s and women’s gold medallists claim a record to go with their world titles.
Japan’s Mori Ai became the first Japanese climber to win a Lead World Championships title – man or woman – and Austria’s Jakob Schubert defended his Lead world title – his fourth in total, a record for the men.
By taking the top step of the men’s podium, Schubert also extended his own record as the oldest world champion – man or woman.
Schubert had a short wait for his gold to be confirmed after posting a 48+. The Austrian then had to wait for his friend Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic and Great Britain’s Toby Roberts to take to the wall, but both fell early in their attempts.
Schubert said: “This field is so crazy strong, I knew I had to have the climb of my life to win this world championship title again. I feel like the Lead field is stronger than ever. The emotions are crazy right now.
“After being on the circuit for so long you know even better how to live these moments, and I’m living it right now. Winning in this arena is something you never forget.”
With his added experience, Schubert still had time to recognise the climbers around him and pushing him on: “It means so much to challenge one of the craziest talents we have in the sport with Anraku Sorato. He is such an amazing climber and if I can teach him a thing or two it would make me so proud. Maybe I will tell my kids about it, I don’t have any now of course, but I can say I taught him a little bit and now he wins everything. You see also Toby [Roberts], super strong young climbers, coming out on top tonight ahead of them means so much to me.”
Anraku has had a stellar 2023 and now adds a World Championships silver to his debut year senior medal haul. The young Japanese climber was just a + behind Schubert on 48, and his Austrian rival had to wait to see if he could hold onto his podium spot.
Rounding out the podium was Germany’s Alexander Megos whose bronze medal takes his Worlds tally to three.
Full men’s Lead results can be found here
On her way to becoming the first Japanese climber to win a Lead World Championships, Mori had to top the finals route to stay ahead of Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret.
As the last climber of the women’s final, Mori kept her composure to impressively top the route and secure the record for her country.
Mori said: “Before climbing I told myself to just enjoy it, so it was an exciting time. I knew maybe Janja got a top, so I knew I had too as well. I was nervous before, but now I’m happy.”
Although Garnbret topped with just three seconds to spare, she had to settle for silver as Mori’s semi-finals performance was better. It was however her ninth trip to a World Championships podium.
The 2021 world champion, South Korea’s Seo Chaehyun claimed her second medal in a row as hold 47+ was enough for the bronze medal. Seo was clear of fourth place Mia Krampl of Slovenia who climbed to hold 42 early in the round.
Full women’s Lead results can be found here