The 2018 Lead, Speed, Boulder World Championships
The following is the pre-competition report from the IFSC for the World Championships. Visit here for list of Canadians competing.
This week, Sport Climbing fans and 531 registered athletes from 57 nations and five continents will “climb, come together, celebrate” at IFSC Climbing & Paraclimbing World Championships Innsbruck 2018.
173 athletes are registered to compete in all three Bouldering, Lead and Speed climbing disciplines this year at the biannual, signature event. The six top-scoring men and women will qualify for the Combined finals on the last day, the first of its kind at the IFSC World Championships.
All eyes are on Janja Garnbret, 2017 Combined season champion in the IFSC World Cup series who won gold medals at the most recent Bouldering and Lead events in Munich and Arco. Visit Innsbruck2018.com for an in-depth interview with the Slovenian star athlete.
The IFSC World Championships this year will feature 139 Paraclimbing athletes across 12 categories. Leg amputee Lucie Jarrige, a reigning Paraclimbing world champion (AL2), soared to 1st place in front of her home crowd at the most recent Paraclimbing Cup in Briançon, France. Her compatriot Thierry Delarue, absent from the IFSC World Championships in 2016, could shake-up the men’s leg amputee category after setting an unmatched high point in Briançon finals. Great Britain and Italy also claimed multiple gold medals in Briançon.
Gold medallist Matthew Phillips of Great Britain is one to watch in the forearm amputee category (AU2), as well as visually impaired teammate (B2) Abigail Robinson, victor at her first Paraclimbing Cup. Matteo Stefani and Giulio Cevenini of Italy will aim to perform as they did in Briançon and take the world titles held by visually impaired athletes Koichiro Kobayashi and Sho Aita of Japan. In the RP categories (limited range, power, stability), look for Paraclimbing world champions Elodie Orbaen (BEL) and Korbinian Franck (GER) near the top of the results.
Slovenia excelled at the final Bouldering event in the IFSC World Cup series this year in Munich. They won both gold medals and Jernej Kruder held-off Tomoa Narasaki of Japan to secure the season title. Kruder will face-off against the reigning Bouldering world champion again in Innsbruck.
Japan dominated throughout much of the 2018 season, occupying two of the top three spots in both the men and women’s Bouldering season rankings. New season champion Miho Nonaka and veteran Akiyo Noguchi concluded the season with a thrilling grand finale in Munich. Both athletes will try to take the crown from reigning Bouldering world champion Petra Klingler (SUI). Click here for another interview with Noguchi and Narasaki.
Garnbret and climbing superstar Adam Ondra (CZE) closed the IFSC World Championships in 2016 with unforgettable tops in finals. If Ondra performs similarly under the spotlight in Innsbruck, he will become the first athlete in recent IFSC World Championships history to win three consecutive Lead world titles.
A strong field could stop him which includes Austria’s own Jakob Schubert, a former Lead world champion and current frontrunner in the IFSC World Cup series in Lead, Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA) and Alexander Megos (GER). Only Schubert’s compatriot Jessica Pilz has beaten Garnbret this Lead season, and she must contest with former Lead world champion Jain Kim (KOR) and 2016 runner-up Anak Verhoeven (BEL) to do it again.
Long-time rivals Anouck Jaubert of France and Iuliia Kaplina of Russia continue to score low times on the 15-metre Speed climbing wall in the IFSC World Cup series. Kaplina returned to the top of the podium at the most recent event in Arco, and 2017 season champion and current season leader Jaubert matched Kaplina’s Speed world record in April.
Arco winner and current season leader Danyil Boldyrev of Ukraine scored the fastest time of the season in Arco (5.58 seconds), but men’s Speed world record holder Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI) may find the consistency needed to overtake the former Speed world record holder in Innsbruck. Reigning Speed world champions Marcin Dzienski (POL) and Anna Tsyganova of Russia, regularly team season champion in Speed climbing, are also registered to compete.