STA, 20 August 2019 - Janja Garnbret has claimed her third gold medal at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Japan's Hachioji, securing the title in the combined, an Olympic discipline, on Tuesday. The 20-year-old Slovenian is the first ever climber to complete a hat trick in a single championships.
Garnbret had already secured gold in the women's lead discipline on Thursday after defending the title of bouldering world champion a week ago. Her sixth world championship gold medal overall makes her the most successful athlete in the history of the sport.
Combining speed, bouldering and lead, the new discipline has been created especially for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the first time that climbing will be included in the Olympic Games.
Podium winners in the event are determined by the lowest product of the climbers' ranks after three rounds in each of the three disciplines. Garnbret placed sixth in speed, 4th in boulders and top in the lead, which gave her 12 points.
Silver went to Japanese Akiyo Noguchi, who scored 21, and bronze to Briton Shauna Coxsey, who scored 42.
Garnbert entered the final stage, the lead, from 4th spot, with Coxsey in the lead ahead of Noguchi and Pole Aleksandra Miroslaw, who did best in speed. Garnbret made it to the top, while Coxsey and Noguchi failed.
"It's amazing to have three gold medals at this world championships. I had a lot of fun. I didn't have the best start in speed but I really enjoyed the whole competition," Garnbret said in her first comment.
Despite signs of fatigue after nine days of competition, which reflected in her performance in speed and her struggling on the first boulder, she enjoyed "all the boulders. In the lead I showed what I have and I'm really happy."
The latest achievement brings Slovenia's tally of medals at sports climbing world championships to 18. Another Slovenian medallist in Japan, Mia Krampl took silver in the lead discipline, trumped only by Garnbret.
STA, 19 August 2019 - The best Slovenian tennis player, Aljaž Bedene, won the ATP Challenger Zavarovalnica Sava Slovenia Open, the biggest international tennis tournament in the country, on Sunday, beating Norwegian Viktor Durasovic, 7:5 and 6:3, in the finals, which lasted an hour and 38 minutes. This is the 16th Challenger series title for the 30-year-old.
The win counts as Bedene's 25th consecutive victory at tournaments at this level. He clinched victory at the last five Challenger tournaments he participated in, not being outmatched at them since March 2017.
Bedene is the third Slovenian player to have won the Slovenia Open, following Grega Žemlja (winning in 2013) and Blaž Kavčič (2014). Last year the title went to French Constant Lestienne.
The Ljubljana-born player received EUR 6,190 along with the tournament's prize and 80 ATP points, which have raised him ten places to 80th in ATP world rankings.
"It's nice to raise the cup, particularly knowing that I haven't played my best. Many times I kept saving points, but I showed character and fought throughout the match. Luckily, such tournaments allow for more mistakes. At an ATP tournament I would have lost quickly had I played this way," said Bedene after the match.
His opponent in the finals was placed almost 350 places below him in ATP world rankings before Sunday's match, but according to Bedene, Durasovic played better than his ranking would have indicated and will probably make headlines in the future.
Durasovic got in the lead in the second set by 3:0, but then Bedene raised his game to win the next six games and rejoiced in victory in front of the home crowd.
"I knew I needed to step up my game because I didn't want to play a third set once more. I sped up and snatched the well-deserved win," said the most recent winner of the Slovenia Open.
The highlight of the tournament though was not the finals but the semi-final face-off between the two best Slovenian players, Bedene and third-seeded Blaž Rola.
The crowd saw the 30-year-old winning over his two years younger rival, who still rose by some 15 places to 127th after the tournament.
The Slovenia Open's champion used the tournament to prepare for the US Open, which started today, and its hard court surface.
"I've done my task. I played the maximum number of matches and I think that my coaching team and I have come closer to a level of playing I need to continue the season.
"As a result I'm quite tired, I've been playing five days back-to-back and some rest will be welcome," said the 30-year-old.
STA, 18 August 2019 - Slovenian motocross star Tim Gajser won his second championship title at the MXGP in Imola on Sunday. Although a second run of today's race is yet to start, Gajser has already accumulated sufficient advantage to claim the title.
The 22-year-old is currently in place five of MXGP of Italy. To win the title, he needs to finish the race in place eight today. However, his current advantage over Swiss Jeremy Seewer, second overall, is more than enough for the title.
After the first run, he said: "I did not start too well, then I made it to second place, tried to win, but I fell. I tried to get back [to the forefront] but I needed a few laps. I am very happy, this has been a great season, everybody did a great job."
Gajser claimed his first MXGP championship title in 2016, his first year in the top motocross class, when he was not yet 20 years old.
In 2015, he won the MX2 title and signed a long-term contract with Honda. When he started racing in MXGP the year after, he made made quite an entrance, winning his first ever race at the top level.
Motocross has been a family business for Gajser, with his father serving as his coach, adviser and mechanic up to about a year ago.
STA, 15 August 2019 - Slovenia swept the women's lead discipline event at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Japan's Hachioji on Thursday with Janja Garnbret taking another gold and Mia Krampl silver.
This is the second gold medal for Garnbret at this championships after she defended the title of bouldering world champion on Tuesday, and her fifth world championship gold medal overall.
"I was a little nervous before, because I didn't know what to expect, the route was bumpy and you just had to climb, so you could see in my climbing I was a little bit nervous, but I did all I could, so I was happy with my performance. And that I've won again, twice at this championships, is just amazing," the 20-year old champion said.
The home crowd cheered Ai Mori, who placed third, after the 19-year old Slovenian Krampl, who won her first medal at major competitions. Her only podium so far was third place in bouldering at the World Cup meet in Munich in May this year.
The latest feats have put Slovenia's tally of medals at climbing world championships to 17.
STA, 13 August 2019 - Slovenian climbing phenomenon Janja Garnbret has successfully defended her title of bouldering World Champion, taking gold at the championships in Japan's Hachioji on Tuesday. Silver went to Japanese veteran Akiyo Noguchi and bronze to British climber Shauna Coxsey.
The 20-year-old, who won all six bouldering events of this year's World Cup season, has become the first female climber with two consecutive bouldering World Championship golds.
"Last year was really special, as that was my first title, but this year things were a bit more intense and particular because of what I had managed to achieve during the entire bouldering season. I'm truly happy I was able to keep a cool head and that I achieved this," Garnbret commented.
This is already Garnbret's forth gold and fifth medal in total at World Championships, while Slovenia now has a 15 such medals.
Garnbret is meanwhile far from done in Hachioji, as she will also be defending her World Champion title in combined, the discipline with which sport climbing will be making its Olympic debut in Tokyo next year.
She is moreover among the favourites in lead, having won silver at last year's World Championships in Innsbruck.
August 10, 2019
On day 3 of the CMAS Freediving Championship Alenka Artnik won silver with a 88-metre deep dive in the bi-fin discipline, while Natalia Zharkova won gold with a world record dive of 93 metres. Chiara Rossana Obino was third with 85 metres.
Another world record was set in the male category, where Alexey Molchanov dived to an amazing 110 metres. This was the second world record for Molchanov at this championship. Two days ago he broke the record in constant weight (monofin) category, diving 125 metres deep.
You can access the Diveye video of the competition here..
The Championship concludes tomorrow with the Free Emersion Discipline, which allows athletes to pull on the rope but no fins are used.
August 10, 2019
Natalia Zhurkova announced that she aims to take the world record currently held by Alenka Artnik at 92 metres. Zhurkova is planning to dive to 93 metres.
Bi-fin constant weight does not allow the monofin efficient dolphin move, which makes bifin dives harder and less depth is reached. Natalia Zhurkova from Ukraine was third in constant weight (monofin) discipline two days ago, when Alenka Artnik and Alessia Zecchini both set the world record of 113 metres.
You can watch Diveye's live stream of today's competition here.
August 9, 2019
On the second day of the CMAS World Championship in Roatan, Honduras, Alenka Artnik successfully reached her announced depth and returned back to surface with a white cloth in her hand to prove it. Only ten minutes later Artnik’s success was repeated by Alessia Zecchini. The two competitors now share the World Championship Gold as well as the World Record in constant weight, the so-called royal discipline of freediving, which allows any fin technique (competitors usually opt for monofin) two rope pulls (at the bottom and at the top) and no weight removal on the way back to the surface.
In the Diveye livestream of the competition the two winning dives of the women were wonderfully reported by Samo Jeranko, who just a bit earlier elegantly dived to 108 metres, earning a bronze which he shares with American diver Daniel Koval. The competition was won by the incredible Alexey Molchanov, who dived to the World Record depth of 125 metres, while Andey Matveenko was in the second place with 115 metres, both from Russia.
Another Slovenian diver, Neža Cec, was set to dive to 74 metres, but she turned back at 62 metres. As the second part of the competition was taking place from two platforms with only one Diveye available, Neža’s dive wasn’t filmed under water.
Diveye, an underwater camera that follows the diver into the depths and streams real-time footage to the surface and online, was first tested in 2017. This innovation has finally opened freediving to a global audience, which until very recently was not really a spectator sport. This is perhaps the reason why such an exciting event has been live streamed on Facebook instead of being shown by the national broadcaster. Nevertheless, curiosity about the rules and excitement expressed by many of the 38,000 viewers suggests this might soon change.
Footage from the Championship’s is available here, Samo Jeranko dives at about 1:00:00, Alenka Artnik at about 1:21:00 and is followed by Alessia Zecchini, Andrey Matveenko and Alexey Molchanov.
The competition is not over yet. What remains is the constant weight bifins discipline on Saturday, August 10. The discipline is similar to monofin, only that the efficient dolphin move is not allowed. The current World Record holder for women is Alenka Artnik at 92 metres.
August 8, 2019
On the second day of the Freediving Championship in Honduras the Slovenian freediver Alenka Artnik is expected to perform in the constant weight (monofin) diving discipline.
Accodring to the start list, Artnik aims to dive to 113 metres at 18:20 central European time. A successful dive to this depth would mean the third world record in only one week. Last Sunday Artnik dived to 111 metres at the Caribbean Cup, which was taking place at the same location, and only one day later the world record was raised to 112 metres by the Italian diver Alessia Zecchini.
Right after Artnik, Alessia Zecchini is planning to dive to the same depth at 18:30 CET. If both are successful, this would be the fourth time the World Record was broken or equalled in a single week.
For anyone interested in following the competition live, Diveye live streaming begins at 16:55 central European time:
STA, 8 August 2019 - Maribor are in a two-goal hole after the first leg of the third round of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League after losing to Norway's Rosenborg 1:3 at home on Wednesday evening.
The Slovenian football champions are thus looking at a virtually impossible mission of advancing to the last round of the qualifications as they are hosted by Rosenborg in Trondheim next week.
Having struggled in the start of the national championship, Maribor wanted to show their worth in the elite European competition last evening in front of some 10,000 spectators in Ljudski Vrt stadium, but the Norwegians were simply too good.
The guests dominated the first half, which ended without goals, with the first one coming only in the 50th minute, as Alexander Soederlund scored from a free kick almost 30 metres away from the goal.
The same player scored for a 2:0 advantage for Rosenborng in the 64th minute with a header coming after another free kick.
It was the Brazilian veteran Marcos Tavares who scored a goal for Maribor some five minutes later with a strong kick from some 25 metres out, but the guests quickly returned the favour by Mike Jensen scoring for 3:1 virtually on the next play.
Maribor head coach Darko Milanič was disappointed by his team's performance in the first leg of the encounter. "A difficult match is behind us, we didn't shine on the offensive end, but we controlled the match well up until the first goal."
"It's unfortunate that we were below our level at an extremely important match," said the coach, who is believed to be sitting on a hot seat, adding that "there were many mistakes" and that the team's play was "very, very bad".
Maribor are in a bad spot, with the loss to Rosenborg coming on top of poor performances in the national league, in which the defending champions are winless after four rounds, sitting in the penultimate spot in the standings.
The return leg with the Norwegian champions is scheduled for next Tuesday. The overall winner will play in the last round of qualifying with the winner of the Croatian-Hungarian encounter between Dinamo Zagreb and Ferencvaros.
August 6, 2019
On the last day of the Caribbean Cup and a day before the beginning of the World Championship on the island of Roatan in Honduras, the Italian freediver Alessia Zecchini dived to 112 metres in a constant weight category monofin dive on Monday.
Only one day earlier the Slovenian Alenka Artnik successfully reached a depth of 111 metres, taking the previous world record of 107 away from Zecchini.
The world record contest, however, seems to be far from over.
After last year’s unsuccessful attempt at 107 metres by Hanako Hirose of Japan, which ended with a blackout 15 metres under the surface, the world record battle seems to be turning into a duel between Artnik and Zecchini.
Nevertheless, following the incident with the Japanese diver Artnik expressed some concerns about her colleague’s wellbeing, and told the media that she would not take part in any world record attempts based on announcements of greater and greater depths at a single event. Artnik’s dive to 105 metres last year appeared to leave the athlete with several metres in her reserves, but she decided not to raise her goals to set a new record. She has announced that she will attempt to a dive to 113 metres in the upcoming World Championship, also held in Roatan, Honduras. According to the Championship’s current schedule, this dive should take place on August 8, 2019.