IFSC World Cup Series 2024
Wujiang 2024

Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret is top of the standings. It is possibly one of the most commonly used sentences in Sport Climbing, and at for the IFSC Lead World Cup Wujiang we are using it once again.

Garnbret was the only woman to top the semi-final route and goes through to the final after a fingertip save on the final move – or maybe in Garnbret’s case, just what she intended.

In second spot is Italy’s Laura Rogora who has been showing good Lead form in Wujiang. Rogora progressed through qualification with two tops and goes through on hold 42+ in the semi-final.

The home crowd continue to have interest in the women’s competition as Luo Zhilu moves through in third spot on hold 40+. Joining Luo in the final with a 40+ route is the U16 Lead Youth world champion, Japan’s Oda Natsumi, who is yet another young Japanese climber who doesn’t seem to be bothered up the step up to the senior ranks.

Oda will have company in the final with teammate Tanii Natsuki going through in fifth on hold 39+, one spot ahead of South Korea’s Seo Chaehyun on 38+.

Great Britain’s Erin McNeice must love China. At the Boulder World Cup earlier in week in Keqiao, McNeice made it through to her first final in the discipline. This event, she made it through to her first semi-final in Lead. Tomorrow she will be able to tick off a first Lead World Cup final as she goes through in seventh with a climb to hold 37.

The final woman still in with a medal shot is Mia Krampl from Slovenia. Krampl 34+ was enough for a top eight position with France’s Manon Hily the next in line on hold 32+ and missing out.

Krampl said: “I feel pretty great as I didn’t think I would make the final after yesterday’s qualification round. I knew I made some mistakes and I wasn’t in the best starting position. I also know I’m not in the best shape right now and I will be stronger in the next competitions. It’s good to know even in not my best shape I still made it through to the final.”

If ‘Garnbret is top’ is the common phrase for women, then maybe ‘Japan have the most participants in the final’ is the one for men?

It definitely is the case in Wujiang with five Japanese climbers through in what will be a nine-climber final rather than the usual eight as the competition is so close.

Friends and rivals, Great Britain’s Toby Roberts and Japan’s Anraku Sorato, are again the ones pushing for podiums. Roberts has the advantage at present with a 45+ putting the Brit in top spot and Anraku’s 44+ putting him in second – but is the defending Wujiang Lead winner so won’t give that up easily.

Roberts said: “I’ve trained really hard in Lead and Boulder over the winter and it’s the first comp of the season so no one really knows where each other is at. I’m pretty happy with my fourth in Boulder in Keqiao and I’m also pretty happy with how my Lead form is here. I’m psyched to see how the rest of the competition goes.”

Tanaka Shuta is one of the Japanese teammates joining Anraku after going through in third with a 32+ climb, but Roberts also with have company from his teammate Max Milne also hit 32+ for fourth and a final spot.

Homma Taisei won bronze in Wujiang last year, and with a 31+ route now has the opportunity to match or upgrade in 2024.

Also with 31+, Switzerland’s Sascha Lehmann and Belgium’s Hannes Van Duysen will join the British pair in trying to break the Japanese final majority and secure themselves more World Cup silverware.

Van Duysen said: “It’s my first time getting into a Lead World Cup final and super happy that all the training I did over winter, like so much Lead, has finally paid off.”

The eighth and ninth man in the final will be Japan’s Omata Shion, who won Wujiang silver last year, and Murashita Zento who both reached hold 31.

To hear more from the climbers in Wujiang click here

For full results click here

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