At the IFSC World Cup in Innsbruck everyone thought Japan’s Anraku Sorato was having a great first senior season as he picked up a gold in Boulder, the 2023 Boulder series title and an agonising fourth place finish in the first Lead World Cup of the season.

Little did everyone know that the young climber would just keep on going, and going, and going to eventually make history as the first climber to take both the men’s Boulder and Lead series wins.

Following the fourth place in Innsbruck, Anraku has another finals appearance finishing in sixth. Was the young gun starting to feel the effects of climbing so many competitions in his first year? Not a chance.

Anraku was on his first Lead podium in Chamonix taking bronze and finished the season with an impressive run of three gold medals from the final three events amassing a total of 4300 points for 2023.

So, is Anraku happy with his debut year? The Japanese climber answers in his customary understated, but still excited way: “Of course, yes. I got to experience many things.”

“I never expected this before the season started. I am surprised at my results and that I could have the confidence in myself. It is an honour for me to be the first to win both Lead and Boulder series titles.”

Winning both the Lead and Boulder titles means Anraku has a lot of good moments to pick from when it comes to choosing his favourite: “It was the Boulder World Cup in Innsbruck.

I felt I could really focus on my climbing.”

It’s unsurprising that Anraku choose a moment from Boulder as that is his favourite discipline, even if he thinks it is his weakest: “I feel more fun for training and competitions in Boulder. To train I go to various gyms to climb many boulders. I focus on the boulder training more to overcome my weakness. “Training for Lead is simple. Just climb a lot.”

Germany’s Alexander Megos took second place in the overall standings on 2650 points. Megos competed in four of the six World Cups and had a run of 2-3-4-5 in his appearances.

Homma Taisei joined teammate Anraku on the podium with his 2455 points edging out another of his teammates, Omata Shion, who was just ten points behind. Homma took two podiums in 2023 with a silver in Briançon and a bronze in the final round in Wujiang.

Full 2023 men’s Lead rankings can be found here


Anraku competes at IFSC World Cup WujiangPhoto Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Austria’s Jessica Pilz has wanted the Lead overall series title for a long time, and now she has it.

Kicking off the season in her home country, Pilz took a bronze medal in Innsbruck to kickstart her tilt at the series title. And unsurprisingly, it was a special occasion for her: “My favourite moment of the World Cup series this year was my home World Cup in Innsbruck. This one was, besides the World Championships in Bern, the most important event for me.”

As well as that home bronze, Pilz also added two silver medals to her collection in Villars and Wujiang to give her a closing total of 3235 points and fulfil a long-held ambition: “The overall title was something I’ve admired since I started competing in World Cups ten years ago. 

“You have to be consistent and strong throughout the whole season. I came second and third in the Lead overall some years ago but never made first. I am super happy to tick off a little goal of mine.”

Olympic champion, Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, finished in second overall with her 3000 points made up from her three golds from three appearances and was ahead of her teammate Vita Lukan who made the podium in third position.

Lukan had a total of 2725 points for the year, but more importantly broke the golden barrier when she took her first ever World Cup win in Briançon. She also followed that up with a bronze in her home World Cup in Koper.

Full 2023 women’s Lead rankings can be found here


Pilz competes at IFSC World Cup InnsbruckPhoto Jan Virt/IFSC

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