GARNBRET FAULTLESS FOR INNSBRUCK BOULDER GOLD
A totally dominant and faultless performance from Slovenia’s Queen of Climbing, Janja Garnbret, secured the fifteenth ISFC World Cup Boulder medal of her career in Innsbruck, Austria.
Right from the outset Garnbret meant business. The Slovenian Olympic champion flashed the first two boulders of the final at the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck, however, so did finals rivals Natalia Grossman of the USA and Nonaka Miho of Japan.
From that point on though, Garnbret was unstoppable and unmatched by any of the competitors. She flashed all four boulders, while no other final climbers could even register a top.
"I'm grateful,” said Garnbret. “Grateful for my team, because they were always with me in the past few months, a lot of tears, a lot of crying, a lot of tough moments, doubts, negative thoughts, they were always there. So I'm really grateful for them.
"I received many messages from people supporting me, and it warmed my heart. Today I was just happy, I enjoyed climbing so much, and I cried when I topped the fourth boulder. I did feel relieved, because I thought I almost forgot how to compete, but I guess I didn't. And I flashed the slab as well!”
Grossman and Nonaka were the best of the rest in the finals and their two flashed boulders helped set up the fight for the silver and bronze medals. It was Grossman who claimed the silver over her Japanese rival Nonaka with less attempts to zone on the W3 and W4.
Talking of the finals athletes Garnbret said: "I don't really pay attention to the other competitors. I always try to be the best version of myself, and to be stronger every year than the year before, but I do feel that the field is getting stronger. That is why we compete. You want to win when everybody has their best day.
“With a stronger field there is more fun, and more challenges. Sometimes the boulders in finals are a bit too easy, but I think that tonight we had the perfect round."
Despite also topping the first two boulders, USA’s Brooke Raboutou failed to capitalise on the strong start when she failed to make the zone on W3. Her two tops and one zone was enough to keep her above Japanese finalists Mori Ai and Ito Futaba.
Mori finished fifth overall but did come away with a flash of her own on W2. Ito finished in sixth.
Also decided in Innsbruck was the IFSC World Cup Boulder 2023 overall series winner. In the series that included events in Hachioji, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Salt Lake City, USA; Prague, Czech Republic; Brixen, Italy and Innsbruck, Austria, Grossman claimed the honour.
The American’s points tally was 3527.5 points with Nonaka second overall with 3005 points; and Raboutou third with 2990 points.
Next up for the women is the Lead discipline which starts in two days’ time in Innsbruck.
Talking about the Lead competition Garnbret said:"The first Lead competition of the season is always super stressful, because you train it, but you don't really know where you are. When I could put my climbing shoes back on I started training both disciplines. I will chill tomorrow, and we will see how it goes."
IFSC World Cup Innsbruck continues tomorrow with men’s Boulder semi-final at 13:00 (UTC+2:00) and finals at 19:20
Slovenia's Janja Garnbret tops on her way to gold at the IFSC World Cup Innsbruck
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC