It was a disappointing weekend for Slovene climbing fans in the penultimate Speed and Lead World Cup of the season in Xiamen (China), as Slovenian athletes didn’t win any medals in any of the categories.
Xiamen’s Lead World Cup started this past Saturday, October 19th, with the qualification round. Bad route-setting was a constant all over the weekend, but we could see a first glimpse of it on this first stage, as four women, including Janja Garnbret and Lučka Rakovec, topped both routes in their category – usually it’s highly unlikely than even one competitor can achieve it. Moreover, fourteen female athletes made it to hold 35+ on the first route, and topped the second one.
All three Slovene women who were competing (Garnbret, Rakovec and Krampl) progressed to semifinals on Sunday, where spectators were hoping for a better route-setting that could make the competition slightly more interesting. However, this didn’t happen, and again it was too easy for the athletes to make it to higher points of the wall, as seventeen climbers made it to hold 33+ or higher, including Lučka Rakovec and Janja Garnbret, who topped the route. Mia Krampl, on the other hand, slipped on hold 18 and was out of the final round.
Fans were hoping that after such disastrous rounds the route-setting would improve for the finals, but they were disappointed. Sadly, the route was once again too easy and the climbers cruised up the wall. With the exception of Ai Mori, who fell on hold 10+, all the other athletes made it to hold 31+ or higher. Janja Garnbret and Lučka Rakovec fell on the last move of the route, but even that was not enough to make it to the podium and they finished in 4th and 6th places after the countback to the semifinals. Unfortunately, this meant that Janja now has no chance of winning the overall lead title in 2019, which would have meant that she’d won everything this season. This doesn’t mean, however, that this season hasn’t been a dream for Slovenia’s female climbers. Garnbret has won the Overall Bouldering Title and has also won a gold medal in all three categories she competed in (Lead, Bouldering and Combined) in the World Championships held two months ago; Rakovec has won her first gold medal in a European Championship and a bronze one in an International World Cup; and Mia Krampl won Silver medal on the Lead World Championship.
The situation was no better on men’s side, and again the route-setting can only be described as poor. Thirty-five athletes out of 53 topped the second route, and eight of them topped both. As a result, for example, both of the Slovene men (Jernej Kruder and Anže Preharc) were out of the semifinals round, even though they topped one route and made it further to hold 30+, a really high up stage on the wall.
However, thanks to this results we now have new Overall Lead World Champions in men’s and women’s categories. Although Adam Ondra (CZE) only participated in three World Cups, he has successfully claimed the title after winning all three competitions. On the women’s side, Chaehyun Seo (KOR), the revelation of the season who is only 15 years old, won the overall title.
Xiamen was also the site of the Speed World Cup, where non-speed specialist such as Adam Ondra himself had to compete in order to be able to participate in the Olympic Combined Qualifier that will take place in Toulouse in a month. As the highlight of the competition, Aries Susanti Rahayu (INDO) broke the female world record in Speed for the final round, reaching the top in 6.995 seconds. She is the first woman to complete the speed route in less than 7 seconds.
The last Lead World Cup event of the season will take place this next weekend in Inzai, Japan. As the main titles have already a winner, we will have to wait and see which athletes actually decide to participate in the last World Cup of the year, and hope that the route-setting is better this time.
After last week’s IFSC World Cup in Kranj, sport climbing moved to Edinburgh for the European Championships in Lead and Speed categories. After IFSC World Cups, these are one of the most important competitions in sport climbing, and fans were eager to see who could get the medals.
All Slovene eyes were set on Lučka Rakovec after her first bronze medal seven days prior to this event, and she did not disappoint. She safely made it to the semi-finals in 4th position and was ready to fight in Sunday’s afternoon final round. Young climber Luce Douady, the first one out at the final, set a really high point – hold 43 – but it was Lučka who broke it some minutes later after achieving an impressive 46+. After her performance it was clear that the route for the final, although it wasn’t extremely hard on a technical level, required plenty of endurance and a quick climbing style to make it to the top, which at the end became the key factor to separate the athletes. No other climber could make it higher than new Slovene rising star, and Lučka claimed her first gold medal in a senior competition.
Tjaša Kalan was the second Slovene woman to compete in the finals, and although she looked strong on the first part of the route she got stuck after hold 19 and lost a lot of valuable time trying to get over this obstacle. She managed to move on, however, but was already pumped after her fight and fell shortly after on hold 22+.
Legend Mina Markovič (she has won 21 IFSC World Cups) also made it to the finals. Her climbing style was secure through all the route, but when she made it to the final section of the wall she couldn’t find a good combination of moves to get to the top, and fell just one hold before the medal positions.
After Lučka, the podium was completed by Laura Rogora in second place and Luce Douady in third position. Since all of them are 18 years old or younger, we can safely say that sport climbing has an exciting future in the upcoming years.
As for the men, Martin Bergant qualified in 8th position in the semi-finals and successfully made it to his first Senior Lead Final. On this stage, he set the first high point of the competition (hold 34+) and remained at the top of the ranking until Alberto Ginés López, from Spain, jumped on the wall and fell after hold 38+. Martin was really close to the bronze medal, and although both him and Sascha Lehmann reached the same hold before falling. Sascha had more time left on the clock, which meant that he was awarded with 3rd place while Martin finished 4th. Nevertheless, this is not a bad result at all for the 23-year-old climber from Škofija Loka, who will surely deliver more good performances in the near future.
Luka Potocar also qualified for his First Senior Lead Final after an impressive performance in the semi-finals. However, when it was his turn to climb, he made a route reading mistake and went on the wrong path on the wall, and unfortunately he fell really early on.
No other surprises happened, and Adam Ondra successfully achieved the high point on the route at hold 45+, winning once again a Lead event and proving, for those of who still doubted it, that he can definitely qualify for the 2020 Olympics in next month’s event in Toulouse.
Janja Garnbret did not attend this event.
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STA, 6 October 2019 - Lučka Rakovec became the European lead champion in Edinburgh on Sunday, adding another highlight to what has been a spectacular season for Slovenian sports climbing.
This is the biggest success in the career of 18-year-old Rakovec and confirms Slovenia has an incredible wealth of sports climbing talent that goes well beyond the reigning triple world champion Janja Garnbret who is not competing in Edinburgh.
Garnbret also won lead gold at the August World Championships in Hachioji while silver went to her compatriot Mia Krampl.
What is more, courtesy of Urška Repušič and Vita Lukan, gold and silver also went to Slovenia at the September European bouldering championships in Zakopane.
Slovene sport climbing fans had an intense weekend, with the arrival of the IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup to Kranj. The competition landed in Slovenia with a wide range of possibilities ahead. Before this weekend, on women’s competition Chaehyun Seo from Korea was leading the way with two victories, while local hero Janja Ganrbret closely followed in the second place in the overall ranking.
Kranj’s World Cup started on Saturday with the qualification round. After a strong performance on this stage, Garnbret safely moved to the semi-finals after she topped one route and made it to hold 39+ on the second one. However, she fell really low down on the wall at the semi-finals, missing her second final in this year’s lead competition. This means that after this weekend, although she is still in second place in the overall ranking with 243 points, it is less likely that she will be able to win the lead title.
On the other hand, Mia Krampl and Lučka Rakoveč safely made it to the finals, which took place on Sunday evening in front of a massive, delighted crowd. Mia Krampl went first, and although she looked really strong in the first half of the route, she almost slipped on hold 20, and after she tried to go for hold 21 she sadly fell down. Certainly not the final Mia was expecting, but surely she will go for the win on upcoming competitions. As a matter of fact, holds 20 and 21 became a problem for some of the athletes, as four of them went down at this point.
However, when Lučka Rakoveč, the other female Slovene athlete, jumped on the mats, the audience went crazy once again. Her climbing style was powerful and secure, and she safely made it through holds 20 and 21 without further ado. Lučka started to look slightly pumped after her rest on the overhanging part of the wall, and fell down after hold 34+. After the last climber out, Ai Mori, also went down on hold 20+ – the same as Mia Krampl – Lučka secured a bronze medal in Kranj’s World Cup, successfully achieving her first podium in a Lead World Cup. As she did on the past World Cups, Chaehyun Seo secured her third win of the season reaching to hold 34.5+, while Jessica Pilz from Austria claimed the silver medal with a 34.5.
As for the rest of female Slovene athletes, Tjaša Kalan, Lana Skušek and Mina Markovič made it to the semi-finals and ended up in 10th, 11th and 15th places. Lucija Tarkuš finished her competition in 41st place in the qualification round.
On the men’s side, Alexander Megos (Germany) and Sasha Lehmann (Switzerland) and William Bosi (United Kingdom) were battling over the first positions on the overall ranking. However, several surprises waited ahead over the weekend as all of them missed this competition. All eyes were therefore on Adam Ondra after he missed his first chance to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and Jakob Schubert (two times Overall Lead World Cup Winner).
Adam Ondra on the wall. YouTube
The first did not disappoint and absolutely dominated all competition rounds. He topped both routes in qualification, finished on hold 39+ – almost the top – at the semi-finals and once again topped the final route, being the only man who actually made it past hold 32. Impressive performance by the Czech climber, who was a crowd-pleaser and delivered a great show for local audience.
No such luck for Jakob Schubert, who was the penultimate athlete to jump into the mats and had to deal with hold 12+ losing its friction as the competition went on. After he didn’t find a good position to face this problem, he fell down before even reaching the middle of the route.
Surprises were not over as Kai Harada, a climber who usually performs better on boulder categories, finished his competition in 2nd place, and young rising star Alberto Ginés Lopez, a 16-year-old from Spain, made it to his first Lead World Cup Podium in 3rd position.
As for the Slovene male athletes, none of them could make it into the final. Luka Potočar, Martin Bergant and Anze Peharc performed really well on semi-final round but could only make it to13th, 15th and 16th positions. In the qualification round, Jernej Kruder, Žiga Zajc, Milan Preskar and Andrej Polak finished in 42nf, 45th, 52th and 56th places.
With only two Lead World Cups remaining, Janja Garnbret, Mia Krampl and Lučka Rakovec will be able to perform her last battles of the season to secure positions in the overall lead podium. Next stop will be Xiamen (China), from the 18th till the 20th of October.
Janja Garnbret is, the figures show, the best climber in the history of sport climbing, lead and boulder, but she failed to make the final in front of a home crowd in Kranj this weekend, and thus was able to enjoy the event from a new perspective. The women’s lead was won by South Korea’s Chaehyun Seo, with silver and bronze taken by Jessica Pilz (Austria) and Lučka Rakovec (Slovenia), respectively. Other Slovene’s in the top 20 were Mia Krampl (7th), Tjaša Kalan (10th), Lana Skušek (11th), Janja Garnbret (13th), and Mina Markovič (15th).
With regard to the men, the event was won by Adam Ondra, followed by Kai Harada and Alberto Ginés López. The highest ranked Slovene was Luka Potočar, in 13th place.
Janja Garnbret is the best sport climber in the world, and the best in the history of the young discipline, having already won thirteen World titles, with seven World Cup series and six World Championships, as well as making a clean sweep of a whole bouldering season. And while Garnbret’s dominance is unique, she’s far from the only Slovene who regularly appears high in the rankings.
Climbing is thus a Slovenian pursuit, and one that, thanks to its sporting incarnation is now easy to watch, understand and enjoy. While you can do so on TV and online, with the IFSC maintaining an excellent YouTube channel, this coming weekend, 28 – 29 September, you can watch live and in person as athletes with rare strength, flexibility and daring make their ascents.
The occasion is the ISFC World Cup Lead event, held on Saturday and Sunday at the Sport hall Zlato polje, Kidriceva 55, 4000 Kranj. Entrance is free on Saturday, while on Sunday tickets are €12 for the semi-finals and €20 for the finals, with more details here.
Stuttgart was climbing’s world capital this past weekend as it held ‘Adidas Rockstars 2019’, one of the most important climbing competitions. This event has a unique concept: it has four rounds (qualification, semi-finals, finals and super-finals) instead of the usual three. Moreover, live-music is played at the venue, the Porsche-Arena, by a rock band. This combination creates an outstanding show for both fanatics and casual viewers of sport climbing.
The first rounds at Adidas Rockstars are similar to IFSC competitions: in the qualification round athletes (separated in women’s and men’s categories) have four different boulders and five minutes to top (finish the route) each of them. The best 20 athletes progress to THE semi-finals, where once again they will have five problems to top. Here’s where the competition differs from usual championships: only six climbers will make it to the first round of the finals, after which the best three will compete for a place in the super-finals. In this final round, two athletes will climb an identical route on two walls at the same time, and whoever tops it first will win the competition.
At this high-level event, climbers can only participate by being invited by the organisation or by winning “Ticket to Rockstars” competition. This year Slovenia had 10 representatives, being the country – tied up with Japan – bringing the most athletes to the tournament.
There was no surprise at the women's competition to see that Janja Garnbret made it to both finals and super-finals. As a matter of fact, she was the only female competitor to top all three routes in the finals, flashing (to need only one attempt to get to the top) two of them. However, Garnbret got stuck in one hold at the super-final and Futaba Ito won the gold medal.
After an impressive performance in the semi-finals, Lučka Rakoveč made it to the next round and finished in 6th place after achieving one zone at the first boulder. There was no such luck for the rest of the Slovene women, as Mia Krampl (Lead Silver Medal winner at Hachioji World Championships), Julja Kruder and Urška Repušič (European Boulder Champion) finished in 12th place after a brutal semifinal round.
In the men’s competition, although all of the Slovenes made it to the semi-finals, only Gregor Vezonik could progress to the final, finishing his competition in 6th place. This round had some interesting boulders to top, with only the winner of the competition, Yoshiyuki Ogata (who has also competed in Slovenian National Championships) topping all of them and claiming the win.
As for the rest of the Slovene men, the 2018 Bouldering World Cup and also 2013 & 2018 Adidas Rockstar’s winner Jernej Kruder, could only make it to 12th place. Zan Sudar, Domen Škofic and Anze Preharc finished in 7th, 14th and 16th place respectively.
After this intense weekend, sport climbing will take a short break before next IFSC Lead World Cup, which will take place in Slovenia (Kranj) on September 28th and 29th. You can buy tickets here.
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.
Časoris is an online newspaper aimed at children. Each week we’ll take an article and post it here as a Slovene-English dual text.
Janja Garnbret Prva Plezalka S Petimi Zlatimi Medaljami
Written by Katarina Bulatović, translated by JL Flanner & G Translate
»Nepredstavljivo je, kaj mi je uspelo v tej sezoni,« je dejala Janja Garnbret.
“It is inconceivable what I have achieved this season,” said Janja Garnbret.
Svetovna prvakinja je postala še v težavnostnem plezanju.
The World Champion became even more confident in climbing.
Uspešna je bila tudi Mia Krampl, ki je dosegla drugo mesto.
Mia Krampl was also successful, finishing second.
Že dva dni prej je Janja Garnbret navijače razveselila z osvojitvijo zlate kolajne v balvanskem plezanju.
Two days earlier, Janja Garnbret had already been cheered by fans for the gold medal in bouldering.
V tej disciplini je kot prva športnica na svetu drugič zapored ubranila naslov svetovne prvakinje.
In this discipline, she is the first athlete in the world to defend the title of world champions for the second time.
»Oba naslova mi res veliko, veliko pomenita in res sem vesela, da sem obdržala mirno glavo,« je po osvojitvi naslova dejala plezalka.
"Both titles really mean a lot to me, and I'm really happy to keep my head calm," said the climber after winning the title.
»Jaz samo uživam in plezam tako, kot znam,« je po osvojitvi dveh zlatih medalj na Japonskem dejala mlada Korošica.
"I just enjoy the climb as I know it," said the young girl from Korošica after winning two gold medals in Japan.
Jutri se bo potegovala še za tretje odličje na tem prvenstvu.
Tomorrow she will compete for a third in this championship.
V nedeljo se je že uvrstila tudi na olimpijske igre, ki bodo prihodnje leto v Tokiu.
On Sunday she also made it to the Olympics, which will be in Tokyo next year
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.