The first IFSC Lead World Cup round of 2017 took place in Villars, Switzerland last weekend. Romain Desgranges of France continued in his current top form, following up his European Championship title from the previous weekend with another win, and reigning 2016 World Cup champion Janja Garnbret of Slovenia impressed once again in the final to take Gold.
16 year-old Italian climber Laura Rogora - known for her outdoor ascents up to 9a - proved that qualifying for her first ever senior final in the European Championships just one week earlier was no fluke, as she qualified once again for the final with a gutsy performance in the semi-finals, matching Korean former World Cup champion Jain Kim's highpoint to qualify in 2nd place on countback.
Despite having spent the majority of this year focusing on the Boulder World Cups, Janja Garnbret (SLO) pulled through in the final with a stunning climb, topping out after a delicate mantle and risky dyno to the final hold. Janja's compatriot Mina Markovic took 2nd place after rushing the jump to the last hold and missing, and 3rd place went to European Champion Anak Verhoeven (BEL).
Romain Desgranges - fresh from his European Championship victory - qualified in 6th place for the final alongside an unusual mix of finalists. Lesser-known younger athletes such as Sean Bailey (USA), who placed 4th in Villars last year, Fedir Samoilov (UKR) and Yuki Hada (JPN) were met with more familiar faces in the form of Domen Skofic (SLO) and Jorg Verhoeven (NED).
The most surprising finalists were former European Boulder Champion Jan Hojer and teammate Christoph Hanke of Germany, who appeared to be at home on the volumes and powerful setting to qualify for their first lead World Cup finals. In the final, it was Romain once again who reached the highpoint just short of the top, closely followed by Domen and Fedir, who remarkably was competing in his first ever IFSC final. Jan missed out on the podium on countback to Fedir.
The next round takes place from tomorrow in Chamonix, France.
Watch the replay below:
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