GARNBRET RETURNS TO THE CIRCUIT WITH A WIN, WHILE DUFFY MAKES CLIMBING HISTORY
The opening Lead World Cup of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Series 2022 concluded this evening in Innsbruck, Austria, where Olympians Janja Garnbret, of Slovenia, and Colin Duffy, of the USA, claimed the Lead season’s first gold medals. In doing so, Garnbret bagged the 33rd gold medal of her World Cup career, while Duffy made history by becoming the first male athlete to win Boulder and Lead at the same event.
33RD GOLD FOR GARNBRET
Having skipped the Boulder season to focus on Lead training – bar the IFSC World Cup Meiringen 2022 where she ranked first – Olympic gold medallist Garnbret returned to competition on full form this weekend, climbing her way onto the women’s Lead final podium in first position. With a score of 39+, Garnbret earned the 33rd World Cup gold medal of her glittering career so far. Tonight’s win marks the 19th World Cup gold that the Slovenian has won in Lead alone.
“It’s good to be back! I think it was a good decision to skip Boulder comps, I could come back refreshed with a fresh mind, so I really enjoyed the weekend. I won’t lie, I was nervous because I haven’t done a competition for so long, but I enjoyed the whole weekend and it just feels so good to be back,” said Garnbret after adding another gold medal to her growing collection.
“I need to thank the routesetting team because they did an amazing job. I love hard routes and especially after semi’s was too easy, we got something completely opposite – probably the hardest route I’ve ever climbed on the World Cup circuit! It’s amazing and I hope this continues the whole season,” she added about this evening’s route, excited at the level of difficulty offered.
Fellow Olympian and reigning Lead World Champion Seo Chaehyun, of South Korea, scored 27+ in the first Lead final of the season and thus, walked away with a silver medal. Having made her debut on the World Cup circuit in 2019, Seo has so far stepped onto the podium a total of eight times, with tonight marking her ninth World Cup medal win.
Completing the women’s podium in third position was Olympian Brooke Raboutou, of the USA. The American concluded with a score of 27+ to match Seo, yet placed third due using more time than the Korean. A bronze medal win tonight is the eighth World Cup medal that Raboutou has earned so far.
Italian Olympian Laura Rogora placed fourth, also with a score of 27+ but using more time than Seo and Raboutou. Japan’s Tanii Natsuki ranked fifth with 25+, the USA’s Natalia Grossman scored 22 and placed sixth, Slovenia’s Vita Lukan placed seventh with 16, while Austrian Olympian Jessica Pilz placed eighth with 8+ after a disappointing early slip.
For the full results of the women’s Lead final click here.
DUFFY MAKES HISTORY WITH DOUBLE WIN
Fresh from the podium of the men’s Boulder event in Innsbruck earlier this week, American Olympian Colin Duffy made Sport Climbing history this evening, by becoming the first male athlete to win Boulder and Lead at the same IFSC competition. Until tonight, this had only been achieved by female athletes – Janja Garnbret at the World Cup in Innsbruck last year. This is Duffy’s third World Cup medal to date and indeed, his second of the week.
“Coming into this competition I was pretty unsure about how Boulder would go, and with the start of the Lead season you never know how fit everyone else is, but I was excited to compete here in Innsbruck. I love this venue and things have just gone magically for me here,” said Duffy following his win.
When questioned on whether he felt the effects of Boulder in today’s final, he added: “I was feeling quite tired both physically and mentally. I think keeping yourself together through that many rounds of hard competition is really hard on the mind, but as soon as I stepped on the stage for Lead finals I was right back in the zone. I was just happy to climb. I knew the stakes were possible to get the double win, but at the end of the day I really just wanted to climb to my potential.”
Japan’s Yurikusa Ao completed the competition in second place with a score of 37+. Competing in his second ever World Cup final, tonight Yurikusa bagged the first World Cup medal of his career.
Another first-time podium finish was accomplished by the USA’s Jesse Grupper, who concluded this evening’s final with the same score as Yurikusa. However, due to using more time to reach 37+ than the Japanese athlete, Grupper found himself in third position.
In fourth place was Slovenia’s Luka Potocar with 37, while Austrian Olympian Jakob Schubert and Japan’s Yoshida Satone finished in a respective fifth and sixth place, with a matching score of 36+. Schubert and Yoshida’s final result was again based on the time each athlete took to secure the same score. Yannick Flohé, of Germany, placed seventh with 31, Olympian Alexander Megos, of Germany, placed eighth with 28+, and Japan’s Homma Taisei ranked ninth with 21+. Nine athletes competed in the men’s final, as opposed to eight, due to tied scores in both the qualification and semi-final rounds.
For the full results of the men’s Lead final click here.
The Swiss village of Villars will welcome the next instalment of the IFSC World Cup Series 2022, with both Lead and Speed competitions taking place from 30 June to 2 July.