Heights are back in the 2018 IFSC World Cup series as climbers prepare for the July 6 and 7 events in Villars, Switzerland, followed by a rematch in both Sport Climbing disciplines on July 11 to 13 in Chamonix, France.
Canadians Becca Frangos and Lucas Uchida are heading to Villars for the first event. Then Sean McColl, Sean Faulkner, Jason Holowach, Alannah Yip and Lia Wieckowski will join them for Chamonix.
Lead training is back in full swing with only 16 days until the first Lead and Speed World Cup in Villars 🔜🇨🇭. As some of you may have already heard, at the beginning of this season I decided to make it my goal to compete on the entire Lead World Cup circuit this season and in order to make this a reality to take the upcoming fall semester off of university to fully commit to competing internationally. I am beyond excited to say that I will be representing Canada on the entire Lead World Cup circuit from July to October and will also be competing in speed at a few of the World Cup events as well. I would like to say a huge thank you to @rockymountainsoapco @pauwfoundation @movementfactoryholds and to my amazing parents as attending these events all around the 🌎 would not be possible without your support. 📸 @sheila_mcc Briancon 2017 . . . @flashedclimbing @lasportivana @teamcanada @piseworld #poweredbypise #worldcupcircuit #teamcanada #leadclimbing #ifscwc
Pre-Comp Report from IFSC
Reigning Lead season champions Romain Desgranges (FRA) and Janja Garnbret (SLO) began their campaigns for the title with victories in Villars last year. Both stars will aim for gold again this week in the season opener. Garnbret dominated the Combined rankings in 2017, claiming more victories (9) in a single IFSC World Cup season than any athlete before her. She showed similar signs of excellence in the beginning of the Bouldering season and should impress again on the towering Lead walls of Villars and Chamonix.
Desgranges narrowly missed the top of the Lead podium in front of thousands of home fans last year in Chamonix, and the top-ranked Lead athlete will again be one to watch this year. Also on the Lead season podium in 2017, Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA), Jain Kim (KOR) and Anak Verhoeven (BEL) are all on the start list for Villars. Keep an eye on Ashima Shiraishi (USA), who soared to 8th place in the season rankings in half as many events, as well as Alexander Megos of Germany, who both ended 2017 with medals.
On the Speed wall, Bassa Mawem and Anouck Jaubert of France hold the fastest times in 2018 (5.61s; 7.32s), and Jaubert matched the women’s Speed world record at the season opener in Moscow. They will race against another formidable team from Russia, who has yet to lose the National Team ranking in Speed climbing. Dmitrii Timofeev of Russia moved to first place in the season rankings with two strong performances in China in May, and Elena Timofeeva has also already stood on two podiums this season.
Speed legend QiXin Zhong of China will race in the IFSC World Cup series for the first time this season in Villars and Chamonix, and men’s Speed world record holder and 2017 Athlete of the Year Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI) returns after missing the last event. The full list of starting athletes, schedules, 2017 replays and photos can be found on the Villars and Chamonix event pages on the IFSC website.
13 qualified athletes for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires are registered to compete in Villars and Chamonix, the most at an IFSC World Cup event. Nolwenn Arc (FRA), 11th in Villars and Chamonix last year, and 2017 Villars finalist Laura Rogora (ITA) climb for the first time this year in Villars. Arc will be joined by French teammates Sam Avezou and Nathan Martin in Chamonix, their first IFSC World Cup of 2018. Reigning Youth A Lead world champion Shuta Tanaka of Japan will make his IFSC World Cup debut on Friday in Lead and Speed, and Alejandra Contreras of Chile will test both Sport Climbing disciplines next week in Chamonix.