The last Lead World Cup before the World Championships saw two new faces on top of the winner’s podium at Imst in Austria this weekend. Japan's Momoka Oda and Dutchman Jorg Verhoeven took first place but Slovenian star and World Cup leader Mina Markovic came second to strengthen her grip on the title.
The weather might have been great, but difficult routes at Imst meant no climber reached the top of either the men's or women's route in the final of the IFSC Lead World Cup in Imst at the weekend.
Yet it was still a night of premiere winners. In the women’s final Japanese star Momoka Oda, second after the semi-final, underlined her upturn in form by clinching her first World Cup victory. In second was the current Lead World Cup leader Mina Markovic from Slovenia followed by Austria’s Johanna Ernst, currently in third in the overall standings. Reigning World Champion and local hero Angela Eiter ended her first World Cup competition of the season after her 11th place in the qualification.
In the men’s final it was the Dutchman Jorg Verhoeven to mix up this season’s regular podium stars. After finishing fourth in the semi-final and a great final performance the Tyrolean-based athlete celebrated his first World Cup victory since 2008. Local hero Jakob Schubert and Sachi Amma of Japan came in second and third. The reigning World Champion Ramón Julian Puiqblanque, who was leading after the semi-final, dropped to fifth.
Jorg Verhoeven said: “It’s amazing; this win came to me out of the blue! I liked to think about this competition as training for Paris and so I was able to climb here without any pressure. I’m very happy and now really looking forward to the World Championships in September!”
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