The final act of the IFSC World Cup Koper 2023 was an eruption of sound heard across the Slovenian coast as Janja Garnbret topped the women’s final route to claim her 26th Lead World Cup gold medal.

As the only woman to do so, Garnbret could hook in, turn around and take in a wave of sound that she saw as a bit or ‘revenge’ after a lean spell in her homeland.

Garnbret said: “Finally I got my revenge here in Koper. I enjoyed it so much. From qualis to semis to finals, I don’t know if I have ever been as relaxed as I have been in this competition. I enjoyed climbing in front of a home crowd, with the support I really enjoyed, I’m so glad I finally got my first gold in Koper.

“I have to say thank you to all the kids for all the screaming, that really gave me extra motivation. I hope they enjoyed our show. I wish they will all train hard and join us one day on the stage here in Koper.”

Last year the Olympic champion got silver in Koper with Mori Ai above her in gold spot, in 2023 the tables were turned as the Japanese climber could only reach hole 44+ for the silver medal.

With a gold medal last time out at a Lead World Cup, and the first of her career, Slovenia’s Vita Lukan followed it up with a bronze medal to give the home crowd even more reason to be loud – not that they needed any more reasons.

Just off the podium in fourth was South Korea’s Seo Chaehyun who reached hold 38+, just short of the 40+ from Lukan for the podium spot.

Japanese climber Tanii Natsuki was fifth on hold 33+ with Italy’s Laura Rogora sixth, also on the same hold. Tanii’s teammate Kume Nonoha was seventh with hold 31+ and the third Slovenian climber in the final, Mia Krampl finished eighth on hold 11+

Full women’s results can be found here Japan’s Anraku Sorato won his second successive ISFC Lead World Cup gold medal after also winning in Briancon last time out, which was his first Lead gold.

Just like his female counterpart, the Japanese climber was the only men’s finalist to top the route on the way to his win.

Anraku said: “I was so nervous before my climb, but I tried to put that to the back of my mind and just climb well. After my first Lead gold in Briancon I wanted to carry that on, and I have been training really hard. I wanted another gold in Koper and I have it now so I’m happy.”

In silver position was the USA’s Jesse Grupper whose medal from hold 42+ was his first World Cup medal of the 2023 season.

Completing the podium, Olympic champion, Spain’s Alberto Gines Lopez, took bronze reaching hold 23 ahead of Great Britain’s Toby Roberts who was just off the podium in fourth with hold 21+.

Alex Megos of Germany also reached hold 21+ but that was for fifth position after count back with teammate Yannick Flohe in sixth with hold 21. 

France’s Sam Avezou was seventh with hold 20+ and Slovenian Luka Potocar eighth with hold 18+.

Full men’s results can be found here

Anraku (JPN) and Garnbret (SLO) celebrate their gold medals at IFSC World Cup KoperPhoto: Jan Virt/IFSC

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