Sean McColl in Semis. Photo courtesy of IFSC

The third World Cup in three weeks took place in Briançon, France, on Friday and Saturday. A few big names were missing from the men’s competition, such as Adam Ondra and Jakob Schubert, and the semi-final round knocked out a few usual finalists, like Alex Megos and Sascha Lehmann, but there was still no shortage of talent in Finals.

Sean McColl waiting to climb in Finals, Briançon WC, 2019

Canadian fans were excited to see Sean McColl coming out fourth to last, while Americans were psyched to see Sean Bailey making Finals for the first time this season, as well as finishing semi-finals in the top spot. Both Seans looked focus, if not a tad nervous, on the final route, and though they climbed well, it would not be enough to make the podium. Bailey ended up in 6th while McColl, who tied with William Bosi (GBR), ended up in 5th behind Bosi’s 4th due to a countback to Semis.

The podium, as it turned out, would be all Team Japan. Qualifying for Finals in 8th place, 16-year old Hidemasa Nishida climbed first and ended up in first. Silver went to Hiroto Shimizu and Bronze to Shuta Tanaka.

Hiroto Shimizu. Photo courtesy of IFSC

For the women, Slovenia’s superpower Janja Garnbret was back in Finals, where people expect her to be, after missing the final round for the first time in her career in Chamonix last week. Garnbret finished third in the semi-final round behind two 15-year old climbers, Natsuki Tanii from Japan and Chaehyun Seo from Korea.

Natsuki Tanii in Finals. Briançon WC. Photo courtesy of IFSC

The Finals route was superbly set with only two ties and mostly increasing high-points. After Mia Krampl matched Ashima Shiraishi’s highpoint (hold 36), Garnbret came out and gave a spectacular effort to top the route (hold 42) to a wildly cheering crowd. Tanii came close to topping but fell on the final dyno, which put her in provisional second. But then Seo also topped the route, with relatively ease, and earned herself a second win and third podium in three weeks of World Cup competitions. A remarkable feat for such a young climber.

Chaehyun Seo in Finals in Briançon. Photo courtesy of IFSC

Women’s Finals Results

1. Chaehyun Seo (KOR, 15)
2. Janja Garnbret (SLO, 20)
3. Natsuki Tanii (JPN, 15)
4. Mia Krampl (SLO, 19)
5. Ashima Shiraishi (USA, 18)
6. YueTong Zhang (CHN, 16)
7. Vita Lucan (SLO, 18)
8. Nina Arthaud (FRA, 19)

Men’s Finals Results

1. Hidemasa Nishida (JPN, 16)
2. Hiroto Shimizu (JPN, 23)
3. Shuta Tanaka (JPN, 19)
4. William Bosi (GBR, 20)
5. Sean McColl (CAN, 31)
6. Sean Bailey (USA, 23)
7. Domen Skojic (SLO, 25)
8. Marcello Bombardi (ITA, 25)


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