While there is joy in the climbing community that the sport will be part of the Olympic Games for the first time in 2020, there has been considerable anxiety that the only event on the program will be a combined discipline, including Bouldering, Lead and Speed.
That favors those who compete in more than one event, like Czech star Adam Ondra. The 2014 World Champion in Bouldering, he won the 2014 and 2016 Worlds gold in Lead as well and might just be the favorite in the men’s side of the Tokyo climbing.
Now 26, he posted his first World Cup lead win since 2015 with a triumph in Chamonix (FRA), giving him a win in both Bouldering (in Meiringen/SUI) and Lead this season. He’s won 13 World Cups in all – nine in Lead, four in Bouldering – since he started on the circuit way back in 2009.
The women’s favorite, Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, had a rare bad meet and didn’t make the Lead final. Korea’s Chae-Hyun Seo won her first career medal and first career gold, over YueTong Zhang of China.
In Speed, Indonesia’s Alfian Muhammad got his second career win, defeating China’s QiXin Zhong in the final, 5.764-6.382.
China new star for 2019, 18-year-old YiLing Song returned to the top of the podium and has now won three of the four Speed events this season. She’s still second in the seasonal standings, as France’s reigning champ, Anouck Jaubert, finished 16th and has 393.89 points to 346.00 for Song. There’s still one more Speed event this season, but not until October. Summaries:
Men/Lead: 1. Adam Ondra (CZE), 47+; 2. Alexander Megos (GER), 44; 3. Jakob Schubert (AUT), 43+; 4. William Bosi (GBR), 39+; 5. Alberto Gines Lopez (ESP), 33+.
Men/Speed/ Final: 1. Alfian Muhammad (INA), 5.764; 2. QiXin Zhong (CHN), 6.382. Third: 3. Vladislav Deulin (RUS), 6.057; 4. Danyil Boldyrev (UKR), fell.
Women/Lead: 1. Chae-Hyun Seo (KOR), 34+; 2. YueTong Zhang (CHN), 34+; 3. Jessica Pilz (AUT), 34+; 4. Ai Mora (JPN), 34+; 5. Ashima Shiraishi (USA), 34+.
Women/Speed/ Final: 1. YiLing Song (CHN), 99.000; 2. Elizaveta Ivanova (RUS), false start. Third: 3. Aleksandra Kalucka (POLK), 7.661; 4. Aries Susanti Rahayu (INA), fell.