The end of World Championships doesn’t mean the end of competition climbing in 2018. Elite sport climbers took the stage yet again in Kranj, Slovenia for the fifth lead climbing World Cup of the season. On the women’s side, Jain Kim of Korea handily won gold, beating out Janja Garnbret, the Slovenian crusher who was the 2018 Boulder and Combined World Champion 2018 World Championship lead runner up. The Austrian Hannah Schubert won bronze for her first medal in IFSC competition.
Garnbret uncharacteristically fell ten moves from the top, perhaps still not fully recovered from her World Championships performance. Jain Kim saw her opportunity for gold and executed flawlessly, topping routes in qualifications, semi-finals, and setting the high point for finals. Kim was, rightfully, delighted in her win, reminding the world she is a force to be reckoned with.
On the men’s side of the competition, Stefano Ghisolfi of Italy won gold, narrowly beating out the 2018 Lead and Combined World Champion, Austrian Jakob Schubert. Ghisolfi was the only athlete to top the finals route, with Schubert narrowly falling on the last move. The battle between Schubert and Ghisolfi for overall 2018 Lead World Cup champion is heating up with only two world cups left in the season. The Japanese athlete Masahiro Higuchi managed a third place finish, demonstrating that Team Japan’s prowess in competition climbing extends beyond bouldering.
The last two Lead World Cup competitions will take place October 20th and 27th in Wujiang and Xiamen, China, respectively.