Janja Garnbret completes double at IFSC Climbing World Championships

Dominant 20-year-old wins lead title from fellow Slovenian Mia Krampl as Adam Ondra clinches third men's crown

By Shintaro Kano

Janja Garnbret overcame fatigue and a tough course in the women’s lead final to land her second title of the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Hachioji, Japan on Thursday (15th August).

In the men's, Adam Ondra bounced back from a forgettable bouldering final to capture his third lead world title.

On a night when not one climber, male or female, could figure out the wall, Garnbret made it to hold 43 to beat fellow Slovenian Mia Krampl into second.

Ai Mori filled out the podium, becoming the youngest Japanese medallist in championship history at 15 years and 10 months.

"I had an amazing season this year and I have won two world titles at one World Championships. It’s just a dream come true. What I’ve done here already exceeded my expectations." - Janja Garnbret speaking to Olympic Channel after claiming lead victory

Women's Lead Podium (L-R): runner-up Mia Krampl, winner Janja Garnbret, third-placed Ai Mori (photo courtesy IFSC/Daniel Gajda)

Garnbret in need of a rest

Having qualified in first place, Garnbret was last to go in the lead final.

Krampl led after reaching hold 39, but her compatriot went higher to take victory before just failing to reach the top despite the urgings from the crowd who have taken her to their hearts this week.

The 20-year-old could barely contain her excitement after becoming the first woman to win bouldering and lead titles at a World Championships, although she admitted to being tired and apprehensive before clinching her fifth senior world title.

She said, "Today was just amazing. After all these days of competing I felt tired, but I was super psyched about lead. Today we had semis in the morning and I felt good in the ISO (isolation zone), I felt good on the wall.

"I have to admit I was a little bit nervous before the final route but I managed to relax and just climb. I’m really glad it was enough for the win."

Janja Garnbret takes the lead title at the 2019 IFSC Climbing World Championships in Hachioji, Japan (photo courtesy IFSC/Daniel Gajda)

The 20-year-old said she is looking forward to a day off before the speed competitions on Saturday.

With speed being by far her weakest discipline, Garnbret will use that event for practice ahead of Sunday's qualification for the combined in which she defends her title.

Eight go through to Tuesday's final with the top seven qualifying for the sport's Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

An unprecedented hat-trick of titles at a single World Championships is in her sights having becoming the first climber in IFSC World Cup history to sweep a series by taking all six bouldering events this season.

She added, "I’m really happy I have a rest day tomorrow and then it’s time for speed. I’ll gain some energy again and I’ll do my best in the combined.

"I just want to enjoy and give my best in the combined final, first in the qualification and we will see what happens."

Adam Ondra on his way to the lead title at the 2019 IFSC Climbing World Championships in Hachioji, Japan (photo courtesy IFSC/Daniel Gajda)

Ondra bounces back

After finishing last in the bouldering final without even making a zone, Adam Ondra regrouped superbly to take his third world lead title.

The Czech qualified fourth for the eight-man final, but piled the pressure on the likes of Alexander Megos and Tuesday's bouldering gold medallist Tomoa Narasaki, by hitting hold 34.

Narasaki slipped at hold 30 to miss out on the medals leaving leading qualifier Megos as the only man with a chance of denying Ondra.

The German looked good but came up one hold short and had to settle for silver ahead of Austria's three-time world champion Jakob Schubert.

Ondra admitted he had some soul-searching to do to get himself ready for the lead contest.

He told Olympic Channel, “It was definitely very difficult for the next day which was the lead qualifications and I was very, very nervous. I also had very bad fingertips, very sweaty. Fortunately one night helped me gain some confidence, forget about the bouldering disappointment and focus on the competition."

The 26-year-old, arguably the most talented male climber on the planet, actually thought Megos was going to walk away with the gold.

Men's Lead Podium (L-R): runner-up Alexander Megos, winner Adam Ondra, third-placed Jacob Schubert (photo courtesy IFSC/Eddie Fowke)

"The final was amazing. It was a very, very tough fight between me, Alex and Jakob," Ondra recalled. “I didn’t think I was the strongest; I thought Alex was the strongest but he made mistakes and I was very lucky to climb without mistakes. It was very, very close but it was just enough for the victory.

“It was definitely a challenge and I’m 100 percent sure I could not do any better. I was just too tired when I fell off.

"When the final started, I actually didn’t have much hope that I could take the victory because I definitely felt some fatigue from the previous days." - Adam Ondra on overcoming tiredness to win the lead title

"I actually didn’t feel very good in the qualification and the semi-finals, but in the final I could really give it everything I have and maybe even more and that was just enough.”

Ondra hopes to qualify for the competition finale, Wednesday's men's combined final, where he will seek to go one better than his silver medal from Innsbruck last year with Schubert the reigning champion.