As qualification at IFSC World Cup Koper finishes and the 26 climbers progressing to semi-finals confirmed, we talk to some of the athletes to get some perspectives of the competition from the Slovenian coastal town.

Top five women

1. Janja GARNBRET (SLO)2. MORI Ai (JPN)3. SEO Chaehyun (KOR)4. Laura ROGORA (ITA)5. Mia KRAMPL (SLO)

Full women’s results can be found here Top five men

1. Alberto Gines Lopez (ESP)2. ANRAKU Sorato (JPN)2. Sascha LEHMANN (SUI)2. Jesse GRUPPER (USA)5. OGATA Yoshiyuki (JPN)

Full men’s results can be found here WHAT THE ATHLETES SAID

Isabella DOMANESCHI (NZL) – 62nd in women’s Lead – World Cup Debut

“It’s a bit crazy being here at my first international competition as New Zealand is very small and doesn’t really have the access to climbs and route setting like this. It’s a lot bigger and scarier than I expected. The routes were a lot more challenging than I had in my head. The moves were a lot different than what I’m used to as the setting is very different. Just the whole scope of it is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. We have the Oceania qualifiers at the end of November, and I think having this event under my belt will definitely help me perform better in that.”

James POPE (GBR) – 28th in men’s Lead

“Qualification was good. The routes had a mixture of styles, one was pure endurance and the other quite boulder-y so nice to have the athletes show how strong they are across the range. I think I prefer the more physical routes as I haven’t got that much endurance so I prefer when I can get through a little bottleneck or hard boulder section rather than just how long can you hold on for.

“I want to make semis, and to qualify for the Olympic Qualifier Series I think I need to place around top 15 or something, so there are actual numbers I have to hit, but one step at a time, I have to make semis first.”

Mia KRAMPL (SLO) – fifth in women’s Lead

“It was stressful. I don’t know why but every qualification round is stressful for me even though I always seem to make it through to semi-finals. Especially because it is in Slovenia I really want a good result here and make finals, but I really enjoyed the routes. I climbed a lot better on the second route and way more relaxed. I liked that there were two different styles of routes. One was a bit more about technique with heel hooks and toe hooks, and the second was a bit more straightforward and powerful with a lot of endurance.

“It's nice competing in front of a home crowd. It has its plus and minus points though. All the audience gives you energy and adrenaline and you do more and some things that you didn’t even know that you were capable of, but then on the other hand it’s way more stressful as you want to do the best you can in front of your home crowd.” 


James Pope (GBR) in qualification action at IFSC World Cup KoperPhoto: Jan Virt/IFSC

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