IFSC Climbing World Cup Villars 2019 - Lead Finals

IFSC Climbing World Cup Villars 2019 – Lead Finals

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The 2019 Lead season kicked-off with a spectacular competition in sunny Villars-Sur-Ollon in Switzerland. Despite the heat, the climbers pressed onward, determined to start the upcoming series of competitions on the right foot.

A Gold on Home Soil

The starting list for the men’s finals had the event bookended by the NARASAKI brothers of Team Japan, with Meichi NARASAKI up first and Tomoa NARASAKI last.

After the first four climbers smoothly climbed up the entirety of the route, with only two falls on the attempt on the last hold, it appeared as if each of the men’s competitors were going to reach the top of the wall. However, while going to clip in after clearing a difficult section, Yuki HADA’s (JPN) foot slipped and he was the first off the wall before nearing the end.

Local favorite, Sascha LEHMANN (SUI) followed HADA’s fall with an easy climb to the top, celebrating in style to the cheers of the Swiss crowd and takes a tentative first place on home soil with top climbers Domen SKOFIC (SLO) and Tomoa NARASAKI coming up after him.

In a shocking turn of events, neither of the final two competitors were able to secure the top hold. SKOFIC attempted to dyno the final move and slipped off, while the seemingly composed Tomoa NARASAKI fell with only a couple holds left to go.

Kokoro FUJII (JPN) who had narrowly missed out on the top was later bumped down to last place after a technical issue at the beginning of his climb.

As the only climbers to successfully top the route, LEHMANN, YuFei PAN (CHN) and Alexander MEGOS (GER) take the podium, respectively.

GARNBRET Starts of Lead with Gold

The women’s finalists included three young climbers, two of whom were participating in their first IFSC Lead World Cups; Natsuki TANII (JPN) and Chaehyun SEO (KOR).

While the first two-thirds of the women’s route seemed easy enough with each of the athletes smoothly tackling the dynamic movements and large slopers, it was the crimp near the top that stopped them all in their tracks. As each climber made their attempt at the apparent crux of the route, the anticipation was growing among the crowd; who would be the first one to move past it?

Of course, it was Janja GARNBRET (SLO), winner of the 2019 Bouldering Season and the only women’s competitor to top the semi-final wall, without a chalk bag no less. But the excitement was short-lived as GARNBRET failed to stick the following hold.

The two others to take the podium alongside the Slovenian climber were SEO and Ai MORI (JPN).

All the information about the event on:

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World up…Keep climbing!


35 thoughts on “IFSC Climbing World Cup Villars 2019 – Lead Finals

  1. I'm fine with the men's being a battle between those who top and those who only get to the second to last hold, it's actually nice to see the whole route a few times. But man this women's route is a disaster…

  2. I see no hassle with most climbers topping a route. Judge on the other criteria is fine. I like to see the variations from comp to comp; no tops, one top, all tops, keeps it interesting. I know the setters want a different result but I like the variety. Watching Janja send that move that stopped the others was super cool.
    "recreational climbers would probably dare not even have an attempt at." :/

  3. When none of the athletes are getting pumped, and instead are falling on dynamic moves (the same dynamic moves), we have to ask ourselves, is this really what lead climbing is about? It should be about endurance and technical skills, not showy moves just to please the crowd. The IFSC needs to refocus on the purpose of lead climbing competitions.

  4. A bit disappointing: Janja did not reach the top…
    But what was the 36? It was so easy and all other climber had failed ??
    Janja the only adult on the podium…. funny

  5. Big CONGRATS to Sascha Lehmann who really deserves his gold medal! 
    Incredible to see all these young athletes in final. This makes IFSC very exciting to watch with plenty of new promising and impressive climbers.

  6. Horrible co-commenting by Hannah Schubert, who was jabbering way too much the whole time. Sorry IFSC, but less is more in many ways. I turned off the sound.

  7. Why do routesetters constantly set that bar too low for finals, although it makes sense to put on a show for finals it's paradoxical to have the hardest routes coming in the semi finals while having routes that all climbers can top in the finals.

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