SPORT CLIMBING: Garnbret wins in Lead opener in Villars; who is men’s winner Sascha Lehmann?

Slovenian climbing star Janja Garnbret (Photo: The Circuit/

The first Sport Climbing World Cup for the Lead event came last weekend in Villars (SUI) and even though Slovenian star Janja Garnbret swept her way to a perfect season – and a World Cup title in Bouldering – she will give away nothing in Lead.

Garnbret, still just 20, zipped through the Villars events impressively, being the leading qualifier, the only one to reach the top in the semis and then reaching the 36+ mark in the final to outlast Chae-Hyun Seo of South Korea – age 15! – who won her first World Cup medal in her first World Cup event!

Because the Olympic competition in Tokyo in 2020 will be a combined event, Garnbret and many of the other Lead athletes also competed in the Speed event. Garnbret placed a respectable 27th in the qualifying, but did not make to the semis. The reigning World Cup champ, France’s Anouck Jaubert, won in the final against new star YiLing Song (CHN: age 18), 7.660-8.415.

The winner of the men’s Lead event was Swiss Sascha Lehmann, who made the home crowd happy by being one of three to reach the Top of the wall and then won by having had a better semifinal score than the other two who also got to the top: China’s YuFei Pan and Alexander Megos of Germany.

This is also Lehmann’s rookie year on the IFSC World Cup tour; he finished fourth in Bouldering at Chongqing in April and with the combined event on the Tokyo program, he’s worth watching. Pan, 21, won his second career World Cup Lead medal and first silver; he won a bronze two years ago.

Russia’s Aleksander Shikov loves Villars: he won his second straight World Cup Speed title in the final as countryman Dmitrii Timofeev fell. Summaries:

IFSC World Cup
Villars (SUI) ~ 6-7 July 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Lead: 1. Sascha Lehmann (SUI), Top; 2. YuFei Pan (CHN), Top; 3. Alexander Megos (GER), Top; 4. Domon Skofic (SLO), 39+; 5. Meichi Narasaki (JPN), 39+.

Men/Speed: Final: 1. Aleksandr Shikov (RUS), 5.542; 2. Dmitrii Timofeev (RUS), fell. Third: 3. Jan Kriz (CZE), 7.765; 4. Bassa Mawem (FRA), fell.

Women/Lead: 1. Janja Garnbret (SLO), 36+; 2. Chae-Hyun Seo (KOR), 35+; 3. Ai Mori (JPN), 35+; 4. Akiyo Noguchi (JPN), 35+; 5. Mia Krampl (SLO), 35+.

Women/Speed: Final: 1. Anouck Jaubert (FRA), 7.660; 2. YiLing Song (CHN), 8.415. Third: Elizaveta Ivanova (RUS), 7.586; 4. Di Niu (CHN), 10.657.