INNSBRUCK WELCOMES BOULDER, LEAD, SPEED, AND PARACLIMBING FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 2018
The IFSC World Cup Series returns with a festival of Sport Climbing this week, as Innsbruck, Austria, prepares to welcome not one, not two, but three world cups, in addition to a European Cup.
Innsbruck’s Kletterzentrum will host four competitions from 22 to 26 June, commencing today with the first Paraclimbing World Cup of the 2021 season – the first international Paraclimbing competition since 2019. A total of 77 athletes – 53 male and 24 female – will compete across ten different Sport Classes in the Paraclimbing season-opener.
At the Paraclimbing World Championships Briançon 2019, Team GB and Team Japan dominated the rankings with nine and seven medals respectively; However, with neither team in attendance in Innsbruck there’s all to play for. Could the French Team, who achieved five medals at the 2019 championships, come out triumphant in Innsbruck? Briançon gold medallists Thierry Delarue (men's AL2), Bastien Thomas (men's RP1), Solenne Piret (women's AU2), and Lucie Jarrige (women's AL2) - all of France - will compete in Innsbruck, so there is a high possibility. Austria's Angelino Zeller (men's RP1) will also be climbing this week for the chance to take another win, following his gold medal performance at the 2019 World Championships.
This week will also see the launch of the Lead season and the continuation of Boulder – the first time in IFSC World Cup history that the two disciplines will feature side-by-side. The line-up will include 289 athletes, with 189 registered to compete in Lead and 215 in Boulder.
Gold medallists from the sole World Cup of the 2020 season in Briançon, France, are set to tackle the Lead wall this week – will Italy’s Laura Rogora and Adam Ondra of the Czech Republic maintain their position at the top of the podium? Home favourite Jakob Schubert, of Austria, will vie for a medal on home soil in the men’s event after taking bronze last year, with his podium-mate from Briançon – Domen Skofic of Slovenia – also on the athlete roster. In the women’s event, Slovenian star Janja Garnbret – who took silver in Briançon 2020 – will compete for another medal alongside European Boulder, Lead, and Combined Champion Viktoriia Meshkova, of Russia.
The USA’s Natalia Grossman will fight to maintain her podium position in Boulder, having taken two gold medals in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, and bronze in Meiringen, Switzerland, earlier this season. Grossman’s compatriot Brooke Raboutou will also have her eyes set on another medal, after winning two consecutive bronze medals on home soil last month. Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret and French rising-star Oriane Bertone are also ones to watch in the women’s Boulder event. Also from Team USA, Sean Bailey will contend for another medal in the men’s event following his win in Salt Lake City, competing alongside his podium-mates Kokoro Fujii and Tomoa Narasaki of Japan.
On 23 June, the Alpine city of Innsbruck will also host a European Speed Cup, in which 50 athletes – 23 women and 27 men – will compete. Women’s world record holder Iuliia Kaplina, of Russia, will be the one to watch in the women’s event, alongside European Speed Champion Ekaterina Barashchuk, also of Russia. Their teammate Lev Rudatskiy, who achieved second place in the European Speed Championships Moscow 2020, will climb for the chance to win another medal in the men’s event.
The calm before the storm in Innsbruck, Austria
Photo: Lena Drapella/IFSC
The schedule of the competition – which is the first international Sport Climbing competition to take place in Innsbruck since the World Championships in 2018 – is as follows:
Tuesday 22 (UTC+2:00)
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Paraclimbing World Cup qualifications
9:00 AM – 6:00 PM: Lead World Cup qualifications
6:45 – 7:45 PM: European Speed Cup qualifications
8:15 – 9:00 PM: European Speed Cup finals
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM: Boulder World Cup qualifications
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Paraclimbing World Cup finals
10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Lead World Cup semi-finals
8:00 PM: Women’s Lead World Cup final
9:00 PM: Men’s Lead World Cup final
10:00 AM – 12:10 PM: Boulder World Cup semi-finals
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Women’s Boulder World Cup final
8:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Men’s Boulder World Cup final