The Race to the Top Continues in Speed, Lead Season Begins
After a quick trip to the United States and a short break, the IFSC World Cup returns to Europe for both speed and lead climbing. A total of 247 athletes are expected to descend on Villars-Sur-Ollon, Switzerland from July 4 to 6 for the highly anticipated outdoor event.
A Return to Speed
The speed athletes are back for the fourth Speed Climbing World Cup of 2019. After the two-month break, there is no doubt that they are ready to remind the climbing community just how fast they can climb.
China’s YiLing SONG is looking to make a comeback after her early exit in Wujiang. With two wins so far this season and a new world record, she could be the one to beat. However, Anouck JAUBERT (FRA), winner of the 2018 Speed season, is following close behind in the rankings due to her second and third place finished in Moscow and Wujiang. The race between her and SONG for the overall speed season title of 2019 could end up being the one to watch at the end of the season.
Only halfway through the season and reigning champion of 2018, Bassa MAWEM (FRA) is already pulling ahead in the rankings after earning himself a first-place win in Moscow and a second place in Wujiang. So far, he is the only men’s competitor to podium twice this season.
Other climbers to watch as speed season heats up are Aleksandra RUDZINSKA (POL) and Aries SUSANTI RAHAYU (INA) for the women, and Dmitrii TIMOFEEV (RUS), Vladislav DEULIN (RUS) and Reza ALIPOURSHENAZANDIFAR (IRI) for the men.
Lead Season Kicks-Off
With the conclusion of the bouldering season in early June, the athletes shift their attention to higher walls for the first IFSC Lead World Cup of 2019.
Entering the first lead competition of the season, all eyes will be on reigning champion of the 2018 Lead World Cup season, and recent champion of the bouldering season, Janja GARNBRET (SLO). With six gold medals already under her belt, the big question is whether or not she can also sweep lead. Austria’s Jessica PILZ and Korea’s Jain KIM, second and third place in 2018 respectively, are also at the top of the list of women’s athletes to watch this season. Throughout her climbing career, KIM has earned 28 Lead World Cup medals, will the count go up in Villars?
The men’s champion from 2018, Jakob SCHUBERT (AUT), also had a strong bouldering season, reaching the podium in both events he enters and even seizing first place from Adam ONDRA (CZE) on the last wall in Munich. Could the upcoming lead season provide a rematch between these two favored athletes?
Tune-in to the IFSC homepage on July 05th and 06th to watch the live streaming semi-finals and finals.
Don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter during the event by using the hashtag #IFSCwc!