The Sports Examiner

SPORT CLIMBING: Japan sweeps Briancon men’s Lead, while Seo & Garnbret both at the top in women’s Lead

The Briancon women's Lead podium: Garnbret, Seo and Tanii (Photo: IFSC/Eddie Fowke)

The IFSC World Cup in Lead reached the halfway mark on Saturday, with Japan showing impressive depth with a rare sweep of the men’s Lead competition, as the top three all won their first World Cup medals.

The winner was 16-year-old Hidemasa Nishida, who cleared 39+ holds, one better than Hiroto Shimizu (38+) and 19-year-old Shuta Tanaka. Shimizu moved from eighth at Briarcon last season to the podium in 2019, but Nishida and Tanaka emerged as new stars.

Alexander Megos (GER) finished only 16th, but with so many newcomers scoring this week, he remained in the seasonal lead with 165 points. Swiss Sascha Lehmann is second at 152 and Britain’s William Bosi moved up to third at 122.

The women’s event was another showcase for sudden star Chae-Hyun Seo of Korea – age 15 – who won her second straight World Cup, this time over a resilient Janja Garnbret, the three-time defending champion. Both got to the top, but Seo got her clip in right away and claimed the victory. She has now finished 2-1-1 in the three Lead events so far and leads the World Cup seasonal standings with 280 to 217 for Garnbret. Summaries:

IFSC World Cup
Briancon (FRA) ~ 19-20 July 2019
(Full results here)

Men/Lead: 1. Hidemasa Nishida (JPN), 39+; 2. Hiroto Shimizu (JPN), 38+; 3. Shuta Tanaka (JPN), 38+; 4. William Bosi (GBR), 38; 5. Sean McColl (CAN), 38. Also: 6. Sean Bailey (USA), 34+.

Women/Lead: 1. Chae-Hyun Seo (KOR), Top; 2. Janja Garnbret (SLO), Top; 3. Natsuki Tanii (JPN), 41+; 4. Mia Krampl (AUT), 36; 5. Ashima Shiraishi (USA), 36.

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