SPORT CLIMBING Preview: Can Garnbret come back in Lead World Cup in Briancon?

It was unusual to say the least to see Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret, who swept through an undefeated season in Bouldering, and who won the Lead opener in Villars (SUI), falter and miss the final of last week’s World Cup in Chamonix (FRA).

Coupled with the win by Korea’s Chae-Hyun Seo – after a second-place finish in Villars – Garnbret finds herself in second place, down 43 points to the 15-year-old Korean climber from Seoul, competing in her first-ever Lead World Cups!

But Garnbret has won three straight World Cup Lead titles and will be out for a win in this week’s Lead World Cup in Briancon (FRA). It shouldn’t be a case of nerves; Garnbret won at this venue in 2017 and 2018. The current standings:

1. 145 Alexander Megos (GER)
2. 126 Sascha Lehmann (SUI)
3. 100 Adam Ondra (CZE)
4. 89 Jakob Schubert (AUT)
5. 84 Martin Stranik (CZE)

1. 180 Chae-Hyun Seo (KOR)
2. 137 Janja Garnbret (SLO)
3. 120 Ai Mori (JPN)
4. 117 YueTong Zhang (CHN)
5. 96 Jessica Pilz (AUT)

With Ondra taking the week off after last week’s win, perhaps the 25-year-old Megos is ready for another World Cup victory. His win in Briancon in 2018 is his only career gold on the World Cup circuit. He won his first two World Cup medals last season; with a third at Villars and second at Chamonix, he can set a career-best with a third seasonal medal this week.

This is solely a Lead World Cup, combined in Briancon with a series of other events this week; qualifying is scheduled for Friday with finals on Saturday. Look for results here.