Ten days of nearly nonstop, top-level Sport Climbing in Innsbruck culminated on Sunday with the Combined finals, the first of its kind at the IFSC World Championships. The six top-scoring men and women athletes competing in Bouldering, Lead and Speed in Innsbruck qualified to climb in all three disciplines on the final day, a showdown of the best all-around competitors for the coveted Combined world title.
The women and men’s Combined finals went in the order of Speed, Bouldering, Lead. Athletes were ranked in each discipline, and places were multiplied for the Combined finals results. Six women finalists faced-off in head-to-head bracket-style elimination as they did in Speed on Thursday, starting at the quarterfinal, only this time the athlete with the fastest losing time (lucky loser) advanced to the semi-final as well. Miho Nonaka (JPN) bested Jessica Pilz of Austria in the first race, but Pilz’s quick time sent her to the semi-final alongside winners Petra Klingler (SUI) and Sol Sa (KOR), who eliminated Garnbret from contention. Nonaka miscued early in the next race and Pilz capitalised to advance by one half second, and Sa executed to best Klingler. Klingler placed 3rd after a false start from Nonaka in the small final, and Sa took an early lead by racing past Pilz in the big final with the fastest time of the round (9.273 seconds).
The finalists were given four minutes to attempt four problems in Bouldering, with scores being decided by tops, then zone points, top attempts and zone point attempts. Multiple athletes scored zone points and continued upward for tops on the technical first problem (W1), but Garnbret did so in fewer attempts. A dynamic second problem opened with a double-dyno, and Garnbret flashed for a sizable advantage. W3 required balance to connect multiple slab walks, and Garnbret again topped in the fewest attempts to maintain the lead over Klingler, Akiyo Noguchi (JPN) and Nonaka who completed two tops. Needing only to score the zone point on the fourth and last problem to clinch 1st place in the Bouldering, Garnbret still connected all the powerful moves for four unrivalled tops, but Sa stayed ahead by topping the last problem in the last moments to soar from 5th to 2nd place.
The Combined world title came down to endurance on the towering Lead wall where finalists had six minutes to climb as high as possible, with time breaking ties. Powerful moves led to a jump into the steepest middle section with hard to place feet, ending with dynamic moves and a leap to the top hold. Pilz stuck the exciting move to the finishing hold with one minute to go to put the pressure on Garnbret and Sa. Garnbret stayed composed and completed a quicker top to become Combined world champion in addition to Bouldering world champion (won on Friday). Sa reached the middle section to place 2nd in the Combined, and Pilz finished 3rd at home in Innsbruck.
The biannual IFSC World Championships, the signature IFSC event of the 2018 season, concluded with the men’s Combined final on Sunday. Schubert advanced to the final round in Speed, knocking out Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) on a false start and racing past “lucky loser” Kai Harada in the semi-final at the last move. Only Jan Hojer (GER) bested the Austrian, eliminating Adam Ondra (CZE) in the first round as well and Kokoro Fujii (JPN) in the second on the fastest time of the day (7.146 seconds). Hojer raced to another quick time in the big final against Schubert to begin the men’s Combined final in 1st place, and Fujii outpaced teammate Harada in the small final.
In Bouldering, Fujii, Harada and Schubert flashed the strength-based first problem (M1), but Ondra stayed in the hunt with a top on his third attempt. Precise footwork made the power moves ending M2 easier, and both Ondra and Schubert topped on their first attempts. The dynamic M3 slab proved challenging but multiple finalists topped before time expired, including Schubert who stuck the hop and matched on the finishing hold with less than 30 seconds remaining. The Bouldering results stayed the same when every finalist flashed M4, keeping Schubert in the lead in the Combined results and Hojer and Ondra trailing not far behind.
Powerful moves led to a jump on the men’s Lead route as well, followed by a 360 spin and upside down climbing into the middle section where campusing skills on crimps were tested. Ondra rose past previous marks to set the high point near the top hold, and Hojer fell in the middle section to place 3rd in the Combined final. Needing to surpass Hojer’s mark in Lead to oust Ondra from 1st place, Schubert duly did so with the Innsbruck crowd cheering behind him. The Lead world champion fell at the final section to also become Combined world champion, at home in Austria, by excelling in all three disciplines of Sport Climbing.
With Schubert’s victory in the Combined final on Sunday and Schubert and Pilz’s earlier victories, Austria won the most gold medals at IFSC World Championships 2018 and matched Slovenia for the most medals in total (4). Slovenia placed 2nd in the medal table, led by Garnbret’s two victories, and Japan, Poland and Iran also claimed world titles in Innsbruck. The complete Climbing medal table can be found on the web page for World Championships on the IFSC website, and links to full results of men and women Combined finals, replays, highlights, photos and more can be found on the Innsbruck event page.
USA viewers click on the links here for the full replay of the women and men's Combined finals on OlympicChannel.com.