Molly Thompson-Smith won the bronze medal in the IFSC Lead World Cup in Kranj, Slovenia, the first time a GB woman has ever finished on the podium in such a competition. BMC ambassador Shauna Coxsey also competed in the final, earning enough points to finish third in the Combined Rankings and win another bronze medal for the GB Climbing Team.
What a weekend of firsts! Molly Thompson-Smith became the first British woman to win a medal in an IFSC Lead World Cup, and BMC ambassador Shauna Coxsey came sixth in her first ever IFSC Lead World Cup to become the first British woman to win a medal in the IFSC Combined Rankings.
An incredibly strong showing of GB Climbing Team athletes headed to Kranj, Slovenia, last weekend to compete in the last IFSC Lead World Cup event of the season. Molly Thompson-Smith was in the midst of her best season ever, all the competitors had made semi-finals and finals in some form or other, and all were regulars on the competition circuit.
Up against the world’s best, Molly climbed fluidly throughout the competition to easily make the final. She then surpassed the high points of several contenders to reach the same height as Julia Chanourdie of France. But having climbed higher in the semi-final, Molly won the bronze medal on countback, the first IFSC Lead medal for the GB Climbing Team.
“The season's been more than I could ever hope for,” Molly told BBC Sport. “A top-10 goal was my aim for the season and maybe reach a final, so to win the medal is incredible.”
Molly is now ranked as the seventh best female Lead climbing in IFSC World Cups, and we’re sure this is only the beginning:
“I'm really excited that I've managed a top 10 ranking this year after missing two comps earlier on, and would love to challenge myself to go for a top five ranking next year,” she said.
Meanwhile, competing in her first IFSC Lead World Cup, Shauna Coxsey stunned herself by making it into the finals, but an unfortunate foot-slip ended her attempt early and Shauna placed sixth. Tallying up her points from the one Lead event and her excellent Bouldering season, where she defended her title as IFSC Boulder World Cup Champion for the second year running, Shauna made enough points to claim the bronze medal in the Combined rankings, another first for the GB Climbing Team.
Nick Colton, deputy CEO at the BMC, said: “Fantastic effort from Molly winning the bronze medal and becoming the first British woman to do so. She’s worked exceptionally hard and now it’s paying off. Shauna winning the bronze in combined is amazing too and bodes well for Tokyo 2020.”
Capping off an incredible season, Janja Garnbret of Slovenia cruised up the wall and took the gold medal in front of her home crowd, while Jakob Schubert of Austria fended off strong competition from the strong outdoor climber Alex Megos of Germany to win gold.
WATCH: Finals highlights of the IFSC Lead World Cup Kranj
IFSC Lead Final: Results
1st: Janja Garnbret (SLO)
2nd: Jain Kim (KOR)
3rd: Molly Thompson-Smith (GBR)
4th: Julia Chanourdie (FRA)
5th: Mina Markovic (SLO)
6th: Shauna Coxsey (GBR)
7th: Vita Lukan (SLO)
8th: Anak Verhoeven (BEL)
1st: Jakob Schubert (AUT)
2nd: Alex Megos (GER)
3rd: Dmitrii Fakirianov (RUS)
4th: Domen Skofic (SLO)
5th: Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA)
6th: Francesco Vettorata (ITA)
7th: Marcello Bombardi (ITA)
8th: Jan Hojer (GER)
The GB Climbing Team is supported by the BMC, Berghaus, and Rock Over Climbing, and the GB Paraclimbing Team is supported by Oakwood Climbing Centre and Quay Climbing Centre. Many UK walls also support the British Climbing Team through free or subsidised entry.
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WATCH: Shauna Coxsey: This Girl Can Win on BMC TV