Promising start for GB Climbing Team at IFSC World Championships 2018

Posted by Peter Burnside on 11/09/2018
Molly storms up the semi-finals route to place 11th. Photo: IFSC / Eddie Fowke
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Marking the start of the IFSC World Championships 2018 was the Lead events, where GB athletes got off to an inspiring start in Innsbruck, Austria, over the weekend. Will Bosi finished in an impressive 13th place, while Molly Thompson-Smith amazed everyone by placing 11th place – just one away from finals – in her first competition after recovering from a serious finger injury.

Host nation Austria welcomed the start of the IFSC World Championships 2018 with an auspicious double gold in the Lead event, as Jessica Pilz (AUT) outpaced crowd favourite Janja Garnbret (SLO) in the women’s, while Jakob Schubert (AUT) just pipped Adam Ondra (CZE) to the top spot in the men’s due to countback. Meanwhile, the GB Climbing Team put in performances to be proud of, with Molly Thompson-Smith and Will Bosi making semi-finals.

In the semi-finals, Will Bosi got off to an awesome start, cruising through the route’s early dyno to establish himself on the upper wall. He continued to climb with confidence, but there was very little opportunity to rest on this steep and unforgiving route. Will pushed on and fell high up to place 13th, coming in alongside top names such as former World Champion in Bouldering Tomoa Narasaki (JPN), and veteran of the comp circuit Jorg Verhoeven (NED).

And in the women’s semi-finals, Molly Thompson-Smith flowed smoothly and calmly up the majority of the wall, executing a 360 campus move with relaxed ease, and only showed signs of struggling when she just latched the 43rd hold with the tips of two fingers, making the next move too difficult to complete. Molly finished in 11th place, just one place and two moves outside finals due to there being four athletes in joint sixth place. But what’s most impressive about this performance is that Molly has only just returned from grievously injuring her finger in December, when she fully ruptured three of her finger pulleys, followed by extensive surgery in January. We’re glad to see Molly back in competitions, we’re amazed how quickly she’s recovered, and we can’t wait to see how she performs in the future!

Elsewhere in the competition, there was a slight uproar on social media due to some controversial rulings from judges during the Men’s qualifiers, where they ruled that Sean McColl (CAN) and Romain Desgranges (FRA) touched their on an advertising sign and were therefore scored only up until the point before the foot placement, which ruined their chance at placing in the semi-final. What’s more, initial footage showed Adam Ondra’s (CZE) foot may have also touched the sign, but he was not penalised. Fans took to social media to voice their complaints about the disparity in rulings, but later footage from a different angle appeared to uphold the judge’s decision as Ondra’s foot looked likely to hover just above the sign.

Women’s Lead final report

The women’s overhanging final route required full commitment straightaway to surpass opening crimps and physical roof moves. Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athlete Laura Rogora was first to try the route under the spotlight, and she fell just before the technical volume section which snakes to the concluding jump. Fourth place finisher Mei Kotake (JPN) pushed the high point further, peeling off the tiny holds on the volumes, and local Hannah Schubert fell in between their marks. 2017 Lead world champion Janja Garnbret (SLO), Jain Kim (KOR), Pilz and Anak Verhoeven (BEL) scored tops in semi-finals and closed the final round. Verhoeven slipped aiming for the same crimp as Schubert, a move Kim stuck on the way to third place and her 5th medal in Lead at the IFSC World Championships. With the audience roaring behind her, Pilz found timely solutions during the technical volume section and leapt to the twin features at the top of the route for the first top of the round and a guaranteed medal. The colour of that medal turned to gold when Garnbret also excelled in finals and reached the top but took 10 more seconds to do so, the tie-breaker. It was the first time Pilz stood on the podium at the IFSC World Championships and a memorable time it was, with Pilz becoming 2018 Lead world champion at home in Innsbruck.

Men’s Lead final report

Starting with the correct sequence was key on the men’s overhanging final route, as well as conserving enough energy on the steepest section of the wall to manage the finger strength and balance needed on the last moves. 2017 Lead world champion Adam Ondra set a new high point midway through the men’s final Sunday evening, just missing the sweet spot on the next crimp which would have won him a third consecutive Lead world title. Instead, Schubert seized the opportunity by finding rests and withstanding the pump to match Ondra’s high point and become 2018 Lead world champion on countback to semi-finals. It was Schubert’s second world title in Lead, coming in style six years later. Alexander Megos (GER) placed third, hitting a strong iron cross just below their high point.

Results of the IFSC Lead World Championships 2018

Men:
1st: Jakob Schubert
2nd: Adam Ondra
3rd: Alex Megos
4th: Meichi Narasaki
5th: Domen Skofic
6th: Jakub Konecny
6th: Tomoaki Takata
8th: Sascha Lehmann
9th: Marcello Bombardi
10th: Kai Harada
 
13th: Will Bosi
39th: Jim Pope
59th: Dave Barrans
 
Women:
1st: Jessica Pilz
2nd: Janja Garnbret
3rd: Jain Kim
4th: Mei Kotake
5th: Ashima Shiraishi
6th: Anak Verhoeven
7th: Mia Krampl 
8th: Akiyo Noguchi
8th: Hannah Schubert
10th: Laura Rogora
 
11th: Molly Thompson-Smith
57th: Jen Wood

Bouldering and Paraclimbing next in the IFSC World Championships 2018

Qualifiers started today for women’s Bouldering and tomorrow is men’s Bouldering qualifiers; Paraclimbing qualifiers are today and tomorrow.

On Thursday, we’ll see the Speed Climbing competition, including finals, and Paraclimbing Finals are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Women’s Bouldering semi-finals and finals are on Friday; Men’s Bouldering semi-finals and finals are on Saturday.

The Combined competition will take place on Sunday, followed by the closing ceremony.

Timings (BST)

Tuesday, September 11

09:00-15:00 Bouldering Qualification Women (LIVE)
17:00-21:00 Paraclimbing Qualifications

Wednesday, September 12

09:00-16:00 Bouldering Qualification Men (LIVE)
17:00-21:00 Paraclimbing Qualifications

Thursday, September 13

09:00-11:00 Speed Qualification Women
13:00-16:00 Speed Qualification Men
18:00-18:50 Paraclimbing Finals (LIVE)
19:00-20:00 Speed Finals (LIVE)

Friday, September 14

12:00-14:15 Bouldering Semi-Final Women (LIVE)
14:30-15:30 Paraclimbing Finals (LIVE)
18:00-20:00 Bouldering Final Women (LIVE)

Saturday, September 15

12:00-14:15 Bouldering Semi-Final Men (LIVE)
14:30-15:30 Paraclimbing Finals (LIVE)
18:00-20:00 Bouldering Final Men (LIVE)

Sunday, September 16

10:00-13:00 Combined Final Women (LIVE)
13:30-16:00 Combined Final Men (LIVE)
17:00 Closing Ceremony

WATCH: The action live on the IFSC YouTube channel


GB Climbing is supported by the BMC, Mountaineering ScotlandClif Bar, and Duco.

The GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. The GB Ice Climbing Team is supported by Montane. Many UK walls also support the GB Climbing through free or subsidised entry.

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HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 La Sportiva British Bouldering Championships


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