IFSC Lead World Championships Innsbruck: Report

The 2018 IFSC World Championships in Lead kicked off the 10-day biennial event in Innsbruck, Austria at the weekend. On home turf, Austrian climbers Jessica Pilz and Jakob Schubert won Gold in a packed out OlympiaWorld complex. Two members of the GB team made semi-finals: Molly Thompson-Smith placed 11th in an impressive return to competing post-injury - one place out of finals - while Will Bosi finished 13th.

Jessica Pilz (AUT) climbing in front of a home crowd in Innsbruck., 175 kb
Jessica Pilz (AUT) climbing in front of a home crowd in Innsbruck.
© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

In the women's event, Jessica Pilz (AUT), Janja Garnbret (SLO), Jain Kim (KOR) and Anak Verhoeven (BEL) all topped the semi-final route and headed into finals in =1st. 10 women qualified for the finals instead of 8, due to two tied scores for 1st and 7th place. Following her first World Cup win in Chamonix in July, all eyes were on Jessica Pilz as she climbed in front of her home crowd and gave Janja Garnbret a run for her money. A smooth top in the final put the pressure on Janja to match Jessica's performance in a quicker time (due to separate qualifying groups, there was no countback to qualifiers in this event.) Janja topped in a time 7 seconds slower than Jessica's ascent to take 2nd place - despite having topped every route in the competition.

Adam Ondra on his way to 2nd place., 171 kb
Adam Ondra on his way to 2nd place.
© Eddie Fowke/IFSC

The men's qualification round was overshadowed by an unfortunate trio of incidents involving an advertising sign placed within reach of competitors' limbs during a flagging movement. Adam Ondra (CZE), Sean McColl (CAN) and Romain Desgranges (FRA) were captured on video seemingly placing their feet on the sign and using it to advance higher. Judges ruled that Sean and Romain used the sign and scored both athletes down to the point before the foot placement, costing both climbers a place in the semis. Adam was not marked down, causing an uproar on social media. However, video footage later released from a different angle appeared to show Adam's foot hover very slightly above the sign in accordance with the judges' decision.

Going into semifinals very soon here in @innsbruck2018 and getting psyched, but I am really sad that @seanmccol and Romain Desgranges did not make the semifinals which will not be as packed as it could be without these 2 legends. . It was clearly a huge mistake of the routesetter at the first place, putting the banner where it was clearly natural to place your foot. Hard to say how the judges should have reacted, but letting this happen is very sad. . Comparison videos/stills that went through the social media were all taken from the right hand side. I have really no clue what led judges to the conclusion that I was OK with that and Sean and Romain were not, but from this video - taken from the left hand side - it seems I am using the wall just barely above the banner. . Once you realize that I am only using the inner edge of my shoe - and my toe is comfortably above the banner - I do not think I am touching the banner. . Just an interesting note - in my case, I would have made the semifinals anyway, the result has no relevance for the further competiton - because of seperation of the field into two qualification groups, there is no countback in case of ties.

A post shared by Adam Ondra (@adam.ondra) on

Matching the women's final, 10 men qualified following a 6-way tie for 5th place. A stopper section saw a cluster of scores around 29+, with Meichi Narasaki (JPN) and Alex Megos (GER) reaching past this bottleneck. Adam Ondra's early highpoint of 36+ was unbeaten until Jakob Schubert matched his performance to take provisional 1st place on countback to semis. Domen Skofič (SLO) was last to climb following a strong performance in the semis and climbed smoothly until the stopper move at 29+.

Men's Lead Podium: Innsbruck 2018, 140 kb
Men's Lead Podium: Innsbruck 2018
© Eddie Fowke/IFSC

This was Jakob's second World Championship title following his win in Paris in 2012.

Women's Lead Podium: Innsbruck 2018
© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

Bouldering, speed and paraclimbing qualifications and finals will take place this week, ahead of the Combined Finals on Sunday.


MEN lead

Rank Name Nation Semi's Final
1 Jakob Schubert AUT
2 Adam Ondra CZE
3 Alexander Megos GER
4 Meichi Narasaki JPN
5 Domen Skofic SLO
6 Jakub Konecny CZE
6 Tomoaki Takata JPN
8 Sascha Lehmann SUI
9 Marcello Bombardi ITA
10 Kai Harada JPN
11 Max Rudigier AUT
11 Jorg Verhoeven NED
13 Tomoa Narasaki JPN
13 Loïc Timmermans BEL
13 William Bosi GBR
13 Thomas Joannes FRA
17 Hannes Puman SWE
17 Shuta Tanaka JPN
17 Georg Parma AUT
20 Sean Bailey USA
39 James Pope GBR Qual' 20. [19.62]
59 David Barrans GBR Qual' 30. [28.35]
70 William Ridal GBR Qual' 35. [34.90]

WOMEN lead

Rank Name Nation Semi's Final
1 Jessica Pilz AUT
2 Janja Garnbret SLO
3 Jain Kim KOR
4 Mei Kotake JPN
5 Ashima Shiraishi USA
6 Anak Verhoeven BEL
7 Mia Krampl SLO
8 Akiyo Noguchi JPN
8 Hannah Schubert AUT
10 Laura Rogora ITA
11 Christine Schranz AUT
11 Molly Thompson- Smith GBR
13 Petra Klingler SUI
14 Hélène Janicot FRA
15 Anne-Sophie Koller SUI
16 Miho Nonaka JPN
17 Katherine Choong SUI
17 Sol Sa KOR
17 Manon Hily FRA
17 Ekaterina Kipriianova RUS
57 Jennifer Wood GBR Qual' 29. [30.24]
Full results


Forums 8 comments

My point is that there is no coverage what so ever. We have three golds, a silver and a bronze. This should be celebrated but there is no mention in this article, or since. They climbed on the same days, at the same...
Excellent coverage of the Paraclimbing... No mention that we have several finalists and actually got podium finishes, but I forget that the standard, mediocre, results of our able bodied team is more important.
Thanks for not announcing the result in the title. Didn't get to see it live so it's nice not to know. I thought overall this was a super well organized event with great lighting and camera angles and fantastic looking...

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