It was déjà vu for the women’s lead competition at the 2016 IFSC Lead and Speed Climbing World Cup hosted
in Villars, Switzerland this weekend. The venue might have changed, but the podium remained the same.
Following the lead world cup in Chamonix,
France, Korea’s Jain Kim claimed another bronze medal, Belgium’s Anak Verhoeven another silver, and Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret another gold.
With two lead world cups in the books this season, Garnbret has won every qualifying, semi-finals and finals round so far.
“What can I say?!! Taking the second victory in front of an amazing crowd was just unbelievable!!” Barnbret wrote on Instagram. “Awesome support from the
crowd gave me an extra boost for the ‘big move’ where four other girls fell. I hope the route was as good to watch as it was to climb!! Looking forward
to compete in Briançon in a few days!”
Garnbret’s highpoint in finals earned her 48+ points, which put her ahead of Verhoven and Kim who each accumulated 41+ points. Verhoeven took second place
since her faster time broke the tie with Kim, who landed in third.
On the men’s side, Canadian climber Sean McColl had an exciting victory in finals. He fumbled with
his feet low on the first qualifying route and fell on the next move because of wasted energy. But McColl was able to keep his head together for Q2
and flashed the route to qualify for semi-finals and then on to finals, where he racked up 28+ points.
“There were many different pieces of this puzzle that aided in my victory this weekend,” McColl wrote on Instagram, “although in the end I still needed
to stay calm, climb my best and avoid making mistakes.”
This was McColl’s first world cup victory since 2012.
Keiichiro Korenaga, of Japan, finished second with 25+ points and a faster time over Thomas Joannes of France also with 25+ points.
In the women’s speed climbing competition, Anouck Jaubert, of France, bested Russia’s Iuliia Kaplina in finals with a time of 8.15 seconds to Kaplina’s
10.13. In the “small finals,” Elma Fleuret, of France, beat Polish climber Anna Brozek with a time of 8.74 seconds to Brozek’s 9.95. Fleuret took third
place overall and Brozek fourth.
On the men’s side, Polish climber Marcin Dzienski won finals with a time of 5.99 seconds over Ukrainian climber Danyil Boldyrev with a time of 8.51 seconds.
Stanislav Kokorin, of Russia, went head-to-head with his countryman Dmitrii Timofeev in the small finals and took third with a time of 6.09 seconds,
over Timofeev, who fell.
team USA, Sean Bailey qualified for finals in the sixth position and landed in fourth overall. It was his first time to make finals at a world cup.
“Since I started this game in 2007 I dreamed of finding myself in a world cup final,” he wrote on Instagram: “Somehow deep inside I found the strength
to know my 10,000 hours would pay off. One more step in the journey. This is just the beginning. Congrats to [Sean McColl] for the win, that was some
damn impressive climbing. Stay hungry … hard work pays off.”
American climbers BenIsaac Tresco placed 42 and Martin Kuhnel placed 59 for men. Delaney Miller placed 45 for women.
The next IFSC Lead and Speed Climbing World Cup will take place July 22 and 23 in Briançon, France. Check back for live streaming of semi-finals and finals.
Watch the Villars Highlights – Lead Finals:
1. Janja Garnbret (SLO), 48+ 1. Sean McColl (CAN), 28+
2. Anak Verhoeven (BEL), 41+ 2. Keiichiro Korenaga (JPN), 25+
3. Jain Kim (KOR), 41+ 3. Thomas Joannes (FRA), 25+
4. Jessica Pilz (AUT), 41+ 4. Sean Bailey (USA), 24+