IFSC World Cup Innsbruck Results
Innsbruck in Austria is an iconic stage on the IFSC's World Cup circuit. This year the city was host to the final Boulder event of the year and the first Lead event of the year—in the same weekend. While this was no doubt exhausting for the athletes, it meant lots of climbing to watch for spectators.
In the men's bouldering, Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) fluffed his lines in the semi and failed to make the final by just one place, thereby handing Kokoro Fujii a chance to overtake him into second place in the season overall. However, the best Fujii could do in the final was 5th place, so he had to settle for third in the overall season. Indeed, this was Japan's least-dominant finals showing in the men's Boulder of the season, with just two out of six finalists. Yoshiyuki Ogata was the other japanese climber in the final and his third place was one of the worst of his season. That is more of a sign of his consistency through the year, rather than being a bad result per se. He easily tied up the overall championship. Korea equalled Japan with two finalists, with Jongwon Chon returning to form late in the season and finishing in fourth. But it was his younger part-sibling Dohyun Lee who finished second and made massive improvements over the season. Lee, just 18 years-old, was 41st in the first comp of the year in Meiringen, but improved with 10th place finishes at home in Seoul and then in Salt Lake City, then further improved to be 4th in Brixen and then getting his first podium in Innsbruck. He's certainly one to watch next year.
The undoubted star of Innsbruck though was another 18 year-old, USA's Colin Duffy. After a strong start to the year Duffy fell away a little in the middle of the Boulder season, but in Innsbruck he stormed back with his first ever Boulder win. He found three tops in a final where all the other competitors only managed two and were separated by attempts. Even more impressively, he backed this up with a win in the Lead final, two days later. This was also his first win in the Lead format, his sole other podium was a third in Villars last year. As it turns out, his mid-season lull in the Boulder was him starting to train for Lead. For reference, women's competition climbing queen Janja Garnbret was considering competing in Boulder in Innsbruck, but chose to skip it so as not to inhibit her performance in the Lead discipline. For Duffy to win both in the same weekend is a landmark achievement. USA had a strong Lead comp, with Jesse Grupper placing third. Second went to another young japanese climber, Ao Yurikusa. Yurikusa and Grupper made the same high point, but were separated on time.
In the women's boulder, Natalia Grossman (USA) again proved dominant, with her fifth win out of six for the season, and fifth in a row since Janja Garnbret's (SLO) only showing in Meiringen. Grossman was again pushed by Germany's Hannah Meul right to the finish—both topped all four boulders, but Grossman required two less attempts. There was daylight back to the rest of the field, with Miho Nonaka (JPN) finishing third with two tops. This gave Nonaka second overall for the season, while third went to Brooke Raboutou (USA), who missed finals by one place, finishing seventh at Innsbruck.
Raboutou made up for her disappointing Boulder semi by topping the semi route in the Lead, then climbing strongly again in the final. She fell on the same (27+) move as Italy's Laura Rogora and Chaeyun Seo of Korea. As all three had topped the semi route, they were separated by time, with Seo second, Raboutou third and Rogora an unlucky fourth. Utterly dominant in victory was Janja Garnbret, who made a triumphant return to the World Cup circuit by climbing through where all other finalists had fallen on the tricky lower half of the route and then playing to the crowd with some fearless climbing above to score a 39+, making it twelve holds further than any other competitor and declaring herself the climber to beat for the rest of the season.