GARNBRET CLAIMS PREVIOUSLY ELUSIVE EUROPEAN TITLE IN WOMEN’S LEAD
A sell-out crowd was in attendance at the Königsplatz in Munich, Germany, today to see Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret take yet another title, one that had been missing from her very impressive collection.
A European title had eluded Garnbret so far in her climbing career, but she was determined to change all that right from the start of the European Championships Munich 2022. The Olympic champion led the women's Lead qualification, led semifinals, and took gold with a 50+ from a 51-hold final climb.
“It feels amazing to tick the remaining box,” said Garnbret. “The European Championships is probably one of the hardest to win because you are expected to win it. If you can win World Cups, then people think that you should also win the European Championships. That's how it is.
“It was definitely one of the hardest mentally to win. That's why I'm even happier with my performance and my mentality throughout all competition.”
Looking on as Garnbret climbed to gold was Austria’s Jessica Pilz who had set the target of 45+ for her rival. Pilz knew sitting top with just Garnbret to come that she would have an upgraded European medal from the two bronze’s she had previously won. She just didn’t know what colour it would be. Unfortunately for the Austrian it wasn’t the top step this time as she had to settle for silver.
Pilz said: “It was super fun to climb like that and the crowd was amazing. The route was also pretty nice to climb. It was a super long route, but it was fun.
“I think I had the wrong boulder in the end because I tried it fast, and it was better to go slow but I’m still happy about second place. It was a great performance.”
Manon Hily of France had been climbing well and was near the top of the qualification standings and semifinals. As Hily reached 41 to move to 42 she came off the wall and looked visibly disappointed. Her 41+ was enough for a bronze medal though above fourth placed Mia Krampl of Slovenia.
“I was very excited, and I felt in good shape, so all was good for me today. The route was not so tricky. Maybe more than the routes because it was my style. It was a very good climb,” said Hily.
For the women’s Lead finals full results click here.
The women's Lead European Championship podium
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC