Bouldering masterclass sees Janja Garnbret secure women's qualification top spot

The Slovenian World. No 1 showed her class after recovering from a slow start to clinch the qualification top spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Janja Garnbret recovered from a slow start to clinch top spot on the sport climbing women's qualification at Tokyo 2020.

With the sport making its Olympic debut, tensions were clearly high on a hot and humid day at the Aomi Urban Sports Park, which gave the wall a touch less grip.

The World No.1 slipped twice on the speed wall, meaning she had to settle for 14th place after the first discipline. But the Slovenian Garnbret showed her champion spirit to bounce back with top place in the bouldering and fourth in the lead to seal top spot overall.

Second place in the combined rankings went to Korean lead winner Chaehyun Seo, with home heroes Miho Nonaka and Akiyo Noguchi in third and fourth respectively thanks to their consistent performances across all three disciplines.

Brooke Raboutou of the United States recovered from her 12th-place finish on the speed wall to take fifth overall, while Austria's Jessica Pilz finished strongly on the wall to seal sixth.

Speed winner Aleksandra Miroslaw of Poland sneaked into seventh position while another speed specialist in Frenchwoman Anouck Jaubert took the eighth and final qualification spot.

They will return to the wall once again for the women's combined final on Friday (6 August).

READ: How to watch sport climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

A slow start on the speed wall

Aleksandra Miroslaw delivered a near world record time of 6.97 on her second run to comfortably take top spot in the speed event.

Her time was 0.01s shy of Yulia Kaplina's mark from last November's European Championships, but it is an Olympic record on the sport's Games debut.

There was also a lifetime best for French speed specialist Anouck Jaubert, who finished in second place with a best time from her two runs of 7.12. Yiling Song of China took third in 7.46.

Nerves appeared to get the better of gold medal favourite and world no.1 Janja Garnbret, who slipped on both of her runs. The Slovenian's best time of 9.44 meant that she had to settle for 14th place.

Aleksandra Miroslaw
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Garnbret bouldering class shines through

As expected, Garnbret bounced back hard in the bouldering.

The two-time world champion in the discipline put on a total masterclass to solve four problems in four attempts, comfortably taking top spot.

Brooke Raboutou of the United States and Japan's Akiyo Noguchi finished second and third, both completing three out of four problems.

Garnbret's win put her top of the overall qualification rankings, and assured her a place in the Olympic final.

Janja Garnbret
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Chaehyun Seo wins lead problem

With everything still to play for in the third and final qualification discipline, Korea's Chaehyun Seo stepped up to take top spot on the lead problem.

The 2019 Asian champion's 40+ performance capped a consistent day, and ensured her place in the final.

Austrian Jessica Pilz managed to make it to the 33+ hold to secure second place, while there was reason to cheer for home fans as Miho Nonaka clinched third.

Garnbret, no doubt conserving her energy for Friday's final, reached the 30 hold to take fourth place.

Chaehyun Seo
Picture by 2021 Getty Images


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