UKC

Janja Garnbret wins Women's Olympic Sport Climbing Gold

© Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11

Janja Garnbret (SLO) has officially become the Greatest climbing competitor Of All Time (the GOAT), adding Olympic Champion to her resume which already features back to back World Championship Golds, eight overall World Cup titles, a clean sweep of the 2019 Boulder season and a triple World Championship win in the same year. Japan's Miho Nonaka and Akiyo Noguchi completed the podium after an emotional final, which was also Noguchi's last competition appearance. 

Garnbret told the press: "I'm so happy that I can't even describe it, it's like a dream come true. I wrote on Instagram probably six or more years ago 'See you in Tokyo!', so it's a dream come true."

On Nonaka and Noguchi's success, Japanese team coach Benjamin Hartmann told UKC : "It's amazing, just the perfect ending, especially for Akiyo. After such a long career of always being at the top. And in her last competition to get a medal at the Olympics is just unbelievable."

Here's a short round-up of the action before tomorrow's in-depth analysis:

In the last Speed final that we'd ever see in this Combined format, the women brought their A-game. Janja Garnbret (SLO) performed far better than in her shaky qualifying round, despite a brief slip in her run against Raboutou, and finished 5th with a new PB of 7.81 seconds. The Japanese women set themselves up well for the rest of the event, with Nonaka and Noguchi finishing in 3rd and 4th place respectively. The final run brought the Speed climbing rounds to a phenomenal close as Alexandra Miroslaw (POL) set a new World Record of 6.84 seconds in her run against Anouck Jaubert (FRA), securing the top spot after this first round. 

Alexandra Miroslaw set a new world record of 6.84 seconds.  © Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11
Alexandra Miroslaw set a new world record of 6.84 seconds.
© Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11

A tough but exciting set of Boulders began with a delicate slab. Only Janja Garnbret topped, with Brooke Raboutou enduring a heartbreaking finish after her foot slipped while matching the last hold. Anouck Jaubert (FRA) impressed by reaching the Zone on her second attempt. B2 was a compression start with the option of facing out to the crowd. Raboutou dropped the last move after timing out and Garnbret smoothly flashed it, storming ahead of the field and making herself uncatchable in the Boulder round. Akiyo Noguchi reached the Zone on her second go, but failed to progress much further. B3 was a powerful problem on the steepest section of the wall, involving toe hooks and shouldery moves. Miho Nonaka confidently flashed to the Zone, but couldn't figure out the moves beyond it to the top. Brooke Raboutou reached the Zone on her second go, pushing herself up the leaderboard into 2nd in the Boulder round. Janja walked out having already won the round, but gave a solid few attempts anyway, flashing to the Zone but struggling to catch the next move before calling it quits to save energy for Lead. 

Brooke Raboutou came second in the bouldering. She didn't quite make this one though with a last second foot slip!  © Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11
Brooke Raboutou came second in the bouldering. She didn't quite make this one though with a last second foot slip!
© Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11

The battle for the gold medal appeared to be virtually in the bag for Janja Garnbret before the lead round began: all she needed to do was stay on and finish in 4th or 5th place. The rest of the places remained up for grabs and a strong showing from one of the lead specialists Pilz or Seo could get them a podium spot. Nonaka was also well placed for a podium, as were Raboutou and Noguchi. Even the speed climber Miroslaw had a slim chance of bronze, were things to go her way.

Janja Garnbret was the star of the show winning the bouldering and the lead.  © Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11
Janja Garnbret was the star of the show winning the bouldering and the lead.
© Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11

First to put in a strong performance was Noguchi, who set an impressive highpoint. This put Raboutou out of the reckoning, but she was immediately surpassed by Garnbret, who finished high on the route. Nonaka wasn't able to get past Noguchi, which confirmed Garnbret as the gold medallist. The final two lead specialists remained, with Pilz not quite reaching Garnbret's highpoint and Seo almost making it but again falling just short giving the lead round to Garnbret and ultimately sliver to Nonaka and the bronze to Noguchi.

Tonight's event brings the Sport Climbing action here in Tokyo to a close. It's been a busy four days, and I'll report back tomorrow with a more in-depth piece on the women's round. 

The Japanese Podium  © Natalie Berry
The Japanese Podium
© Natalie Berry

The podium trio celebrating after the result became clear  © Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11
The podium trio celebrating after the result became clear
© Jon Glassberg / Louder Than 11


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6 Aug

Please can you add the boulder results table. There's a duplicate speed table where boulder should be.

6 Aug
6 Aug

Super happy for Akiyo. So amazing to be at the top for so long. And for Miho overcoming her knee injury. Redemption for team Japan after Tomoa, my personal favorite, failed to medal.

How did they break the tie between Akiyo and Mioslav for bronze? Count back to qualification?

Announcers were truly atrocious and clueless, butchering names and not giving any good explanation of things.

IMHO, boulder route setting wasn't very good in the finals for men or women. Too few tops, too little separation, particularly for men. It shouldn't come down to attempts to zone to separate everyone.

6 Aug

Yup.

Great to see the clear best performer win the competition.

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