Olympic champ Janja Garnbret qualifies in fifth at last Lead Climbing World Cup of season in Kranj

The Slovenian, competing on home soil for the first time since the Olympic Games, is safely through to the semi-finals and keeps alive her chances of winning the Lead World Cup title.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

The Olympic combined sport climbing champion Janja Garnbret of Slovenia has kept her hopes of winning this year's Climbing World Cup lead title alive at the final stop of the season on home soil in Kranj.

Garnbret, who trails American Natalia Grossman in the standings by 31 ranking points heading into the fifth and last event of the lead season, came joint-fifth in Friday's (3 September) qualifying session, scoring 5.34 qualifying points.

The race for the title remains wide open, with Grossman also qualifying for Saturday's semi-finals in seventh place.

Laura Rogora of Italy, who is second in the standings behind Grossman, finished joint-top of the qualifying session, while Garnbret's teammates Vita Lukan and Lucka Radovec – third and seventh overall in the provisional World Cup rankings who can still mathematically win the title – also made the cut.

One hundred ranking points will be awarded to the winner of the event, with Grossman and Radovec separated by 93 points.

Garnbret's fellow Olympic finalist, Republic of Korea's SEO Chaehyun, also qualified in joint-first and will be a podium threat on Saturday. However, Seo – the 2019 lead World Cup champion – will not be able to regain the title this season.

Three men's title contenders safely through

The World Cup picture in men's lead is a lot more straightforward: only current overall leader Stefano Ghisolfi of Italy, Switzerland's Sascha Lehmann, and USA's Sean Bailey can clinch the crown after this weekend.

All three were among the 26 men safely through to the semi-finals, with Lehmann qualifying in joint-first after topping both his qualifying routes and posting a score of 3.71 qualification points.

Ghisolfi, who sits on 291 ranking points some 92 ahead of Lehmann, qualified joint-third, while Bailey was eighth.

Olympic champion Alberto Ginés López of Spain, who is currently fourth in the lead rankings, is not in Kranj, having already announced his intention to skip the remainder of the Climbing World Cup season.

How to stream the event live...

Olympic Channel is streaming the World Cup in Kranj, and you can follow the action live online via Olympics.com right here.

IFSC Lead World Cup Kranj Saturday schedule

Saturday 4 September (UTC +2 hours)

9:00 AM Women's & men's Lead semi-finals

6:00 PM Women's Lead final

7:00 PM Men's Lead final