The Bouldering Championships wrap up on Tuesday, and the Lead competition gets underway with Qualifiers the next day on Wednesday August 14.

Watch the live-streams of Semi-Finals and Finals on Thursday, August 15, 2019:
11am (Wednesday 7pm PT, 10pm ET): Men and Women Lead Semi-Finals
7pm (3am PT, 6am ET): Women Lead Final
8pm (4am PT, 7am ET): Men Lead Final

The Women

Chaehyun Seo lowering after her winning top in Briançon. Photo courtesy of IFSC, 2019.

Lead athletes are coming off three World Cup competitions in July. Based on those results, eyes will be on Chaehyun Seo, the young, rising star from Korea, currently ranked first, to see if she can beat out the “veteran” superstar from Slovenia, Janja Garnbret, currently in second.

YueTong Zhang, the 16-year-old from China, is also poised to do well after making Finals in two out of three of the recent World Cups, including a 2nd place finish.

Finally, last year’s Lead champion, Jessica Pilz from Austria is still very much a threat. Pilz didn’t compete in Briançon, but finished third in Chamonix the week before.

Canadian women: Alannah Yip, Allison Vest and Becca Frangos

The Men

Sascha Lehmann at the Briançon World Cup. Photo courtesy of IFSC, 2019.

It’s harder to say where the competition is at for the men because some athletes opted out of World Cup events, either due to injury or in order to rest strategically before the Championships. Adam Ondra is one such competitor. Ondra didn’t compete in either Villars or Briançon, but came first in Chamonix. So while he’s currently tied for 7th in the Lead rankings, everyone knows that Ondra has his eyes on the prize, especially after missing out by the skin of his teeth last year. And he’s more than capable of winning it.

Jakob Schubert also missed out on Briançon, but came third behind Ondra and Megos in Chamonix and 14th in Villars. Despite that unusual miss of Finals, Schubert definitely has the skills to win the Championships, as he did last year. Alexander Megos is sitting on top in the rankings, followed by the Swiss powerhouse Sascha Lehmann and William Bosi from Great Britain. With a 2nd place finish in Villars, China’s 19-yr-old YuFei Pan is also on track to do well.

Canada’s Sean McColl has had an excellent lead season so far. His 7th and 5th place finishes at the last two World Cups land him in 6th place overall in lead. McColl is clearly in good form and the confidence from making WC Finals back-to-back will surely help him next week. McColl will be looking for a repeat or better of his 6th-place finish at the Paris World Championships in 2016.

Also from team Canada: Lucas Uchida and Jason Holowach

Sean McColl in Briançon. Photo courtesy of IFSC, 2019.

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