The second IFSC Lead World Cup round of 2017 took place in Chamonix, France last week. An unusual competition which saw over 80 tops throughout the competition raised questions as to the standard of the routesetting, with 7 tops in the final across both categories. Marcello Bombardi took home his first Gold medal after the result was decided on the fastest time, and reigning World Cup champion Janja Garnbret of Slovenia won Gold once again on countback to the semi-final round. Despite some disappointed competitors, the event attracted a huge crowd of spectators, who filled the square beneath Mont Blanc.
A stopper move in the semi-final round produced some surprising results for the women, with some regular finalists falling at a powerful throw over a lip. The line-up for the women's final included 3 first time finalists: Mia Krampl (SLO), Tina Johnsen Hafsaas (NOR) and Ievgeniia Kazbekova (UKR) climbing alongside some more familiar faces. European Champion Anak Verhoeven (BEL) smoothly topped the final route, only to comment that she expected more tops and wasn't sure to win.
Jain Kim (KOR) matched Anak's performance, running the time down to the last few seconds in her typical slow style. All eyes were on Janja as she also made light work of the climb to secure a win on countback to semis. Tina Johnsen Hafsaas fell a few moves short of the top and placed fourth, marking an impressive return from a long-term illness.
The men's final also welcomed a mix of seasoned finalists and new faces, with Marcello Bombardi (ITA), Loic Timmermans (BEL) and Yuval Shemla (ISR) making their long-awaited first final, with Yuval becoming the first Israeli climber to make an IFSC final. Chamonix local Romain Desgranges (FRA) was first to tackle the route, and topped out easily in front of his home crowd. Like Anak previously, he was hesitant to celebrate, as he revealed in a livestream interview that he expected more tops to follow.
Marcello Bombardi (ITA), Yuki Hada (JPN) and Keiichiro Korenaga (JPN) proved him right and the top two places were ranked based on the fastest time to climb the final route. Marcello took his first Gold medal in his first final with a time of 4 minutes 16 seconds, and Japanese teammates Keiichiro and Yuki took Silver and Bronze respectively. Romain missed out on a podium place in 4th position, despite his impressive performance in the final.
The next round takes place in Briancon, France on 28th-28th July.
Watch the highlights and full finals replay below:
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