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A Legendary Showing at Inzai World Cup 2019

Torn skin and hard routes made for a challenging World Cup in Japan this weekend. The two-day event took place just north of Tokyo in Inzai, marking the season’s end to lead’s IFSC World Cup competitions.

Qualifiers ran with 52 women and 54 men each aiming for one of the eight spots available for finals.


For the women, both Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret and Korea’s Jain Kim completed qualifications routes one and two, securing their spots in semi-finals the following day. In total, nine Japanese women qualified for the semi-finals round in qualifiers along with Italian and Youth World Champion Laura Rogora.

For the men, nine Japanese athletes qualified, matching their female counterparts. This impressive result from both the female and male Japanese climbers reflects the strength of the Japanese National Team. Ukrainian Fedir Samoilov qualified in first, easily topping both qualifications routes.

The following day brought both the semi-final and final rounds to Inzai, with an exciting semi-finals narrowing the women’s field down to eight competitors. Surprisingly, the men’s field could only narrow to nine due to a tie in the semi-finals competition.



A challenging finals round dropped many elite climbers early, displaying the difficulty of the IFSC World Cups. Though a rocky start in qualifiers prevented Chaehyun Seo from topping either route, finals climbed well for the Korean, ultimately taking bronze for her country. Furthermore, Seo finished her season making podium at every Lead World Cup in her first year of senior competition. Seo also finishes the season as the overall IFSC Lead Climbing Champion.

Olympian, Janja Garnbret, also had a strong season, taking second at both Inzai and in the overall standings. She began her finals route with a strong showing, but ultimately dropped the finish of the route. Though unable to take gold, Garnbret looks strong for the onset of bouldering season and the 2020 Olympic Games, also in Japan.

Finally, Jain Kim walked away with the win this weekend, making her the first person in history to win 30 World Cups. Cruising through the final crux of the finals route, Kim became the only person to top the challenging climb.

Similar the women’s route, men’s finals brought early falls to the competition. Canadian Olympian Sean McColl managed to climb past the first crux, a dynamic, left-handed swing opposed with right-handed volume press, finishing sixth at Inzai. McColl climbed hard this season and is walking away with the third place overall qualification for Canada.

Third place went to Italian athlete Stefano Ghisolfi after a strong showing at Inzai. Spain’s Alberto Ginés López also climbed well, entering finals in first place. Unable to retain his position, López walks away from Inzai with the silver medal as well as second place in the overall standings. Japan’s Hiroto Shimizu took first this weekend in front of a home crowd. His impressive performance still could not take him to the top of the wall, once more describing the difficulty of international route climbing competitions. Podium results below, full results here.

Results Women/Men

1. Jain Kim / Hiroto Shimuzu
2 Janja Garnbret / Alberta Gines Lopez
3 Chaehyun Seo / Stefano Ghisolfi