Jesse Grupper finally claims gold, Janja Garnbret earns yet another at IFSC World Cup 2022 in Briancon

The American completes his medal set after claiming third and second this year, with Japan's Homma Taisei winning silver and Germany's Alexander Megos pipping compatriot Yannick Flohe to lead bronze. Garnbret claims gold in the women's event with Seo Chaehyun and Natalia Grossman taking silver and bronze, respectively.

By Jo Gunston

A cheering crowd in Briancon, France let Jesse Grupper know he'd finally achieved the World Cup gold for which he's been heading in his spectacular 2022 season. The American scored 37 in the lead final discipline in which athletes climb as high as they can on a route-set wall.

Second-placed Homma Taisei scored 35+ as did Germany's Alexander Megos and Yannick Flohe, but the Japanese just claimed silver with Megos bagging bronze.

The women's lead event was won by climbing superstar Janja Garnbret with a score of 42+, the Slovenian just a finger-tip away from topping out but it was enough to top the table... again.

Republic of Korea's Seo Chaehyun claimed silver (41+) with America's Natalia Grossman bagging bronze (41) ahead of compatriot Brooke Raboutou, who had an appeal for a score increase denied.

The leader going into the event, Japan's Tanii Natsuki, came in fifth (37+).

Time out

Both Garnbret and Grupper appear to have benefitted from time out from sport climbing. The inaugural Olympic champion, Garnbret told the IFSC that post Tokyo 2020 (in 2021) she needed time to reset "mentally and physically, and have some chill time", as the Games took a big toll on her mind and body.

No matter, the 23-year-old, has won gold at all World Cup events in which she's taken part this year, claiming four golds in lead and one in boulder, and now sits third on the all-time winners list with 21 World Cup wins.

Grupper, meanwhile, disappeared from the tour in 2019 and headed out to work but the fire for climbing still burned. The 25-year-old, who describes himself on instagram as 'Rock Climber - Mechanical Engineer - Adventurer', returned with a bang in 2022, winning bronze at Innsbruck in June, silver in Villars earlier this month and now, finally, claims gold.

World Cup sport climbing schedule

  • 2-3 September – TBD location in Slovenia – Lead
  • 22-24 September – Bali (INA) – Lead, Speed
  • 28-30 September – TBD location in China – Lead, Speed

Check out the full 2022 World Cup sport climbing calendar here.

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