Ljubljana related

14 Aug 2022, 19:06 PM

STA, 14 August 2022 - Janja Garnbret triumphed in the women's bouldering competition on Sunday to win her second title at European Championships in sport climbing in Munich after taking the title in lead on Saturday.

Considering her performance this far, the 23-year-old Slovenian Olympic and world champion is well set to win her third gold in Munich with the Olympic combined discipline due here on Wednesday. She already won the European title in the discipline in 2017.

Despite injuring her right-hand index finger in the lead final, Garnbret made an excellent showing in the boulder semis-finals and finals, dominating the event throughout.

In the semis she was the only one to solve all four boulder challenges and the only to finish the route on the second boulder.

In the finals she failed to solve the first challenge, reaching the second zone to place third after the first bolder. However, she reached the top of the next two boulders on first attempts to take the lead and it was clear the title was hears even before she attempted the fourth bolder, which like ker rivals she failed to tackle.

"The final didn't go according to my plans. It started pretty bad with the first boulder, which I failed to solve. I didn't know how many did, I thought everyone did except for me," Garnbret commented for RTV Slovenija.

However, she stayed positive: "I enjoyed myself, didn't panic in the least. I have quite some competition experience and I know anything can happen in the end.

"I did great on the next two boulders, reached the top on first attempt. The last boulder was rather difficult, I know I could have climbed it but it wasn't until the last ten seconds that I figured out the right sequence. Still, I'm super happy," said Garnbret.

Home favourite Hannah Meul won silver and French Oriane Bertone won bronze.

11 Jul 2022, 11:41 AM

STA, 11 July 2022 - Slovenia's best climber Janja Garnbret has won her third World Cup lead event in a row as she dominated the event in Chamonix, France on Sunday to affirm her role as the favourite for the coming World Championship.

Already the most successful climber of all times, she now has 35 World Cup victories, of which 21 in the lead event and 14 in bouldering.

"I climbed smoothly in the final. When I know that girls competing before me have reached the top I can be quite nervous, but this time I was super calm and relaxed," she said.

04 Jul 2022, 10:09 AM

STA, 3 July 2022 - Climber Janja Garnbret continued her winning streak on Saturday, taking first place in women's lead event in Villars, Switzerland, earning her 50th world cup podium and 34th first place.

The Olympic gold medallist was the only climber in male and female competition to make it to the top of both climbing walls in the semifinals and finals at yesterday's competition.

The win comes a week after her victorious return following a nearly three-month break. Last week, she became the only climber in the world with 33 world cup wins, further improving this distinction this weekend.

11 Apr 2022, 15:14 PM

STA, 10 April 2022 - Olympic gold medallist Janja Garnbret has opened the climbing season with a convincing victory in bouldering in Meiringen, a record 32nd World Cup win for the 23-year-old.

The only one to have climbed all 13 boulders, Garnbret said after the win last night that this was a privilege because "every event is a story onto itself. If you win all the events in the previous season, this does not mean you will win them all this season."

The world's dominant climber for the past several season, Garnbret made only a short appearance on the World Cup circuit. She has decided to leave out the next four bouldering events and will return to the World Cup in June, when the lead competition gets under way.

"I plan to compete in all lead events, including the European Championships in Munich in August. This is my main goal this season," she said.

This is a strategic decision with an eye on the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, where a new combined event will be on the schedule. In Tokyo Garnbret won the speed-boulder-lead combination, in Paris the combination will be lead-boulder.

"You have to choose wisely which events to compete in this year and next. I want to be the real Janja in Paris, 100% prepared and motivated," she said.

06 Aug 2021, 15:43 PM

STA, 6 August 2021 - Janja Garnbret won gold in the women's combined sport climbing at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday in what is the third gold medal for Slovenia at the Games. Miho Nonaka of Japan won the silver medal and her compatriot Akiyo Noguchi earned bronze in what is the first time that the sport featured as any Olympic discipline.

In speed, Janja Garnbret finished fifth, setting the Slovenian record in this category by clocking 7.81 seconds, after she beat US Brooke Raboutou and Austria's Jessica Pilz. She failed to make it to the top four in speed after initially losing to one of the best speed climbers in the world, Anouck Jaubert of France.

Poland's Aleksandra Miroslaw, two-time speed climbing world champion, was the best in this category, beating Jaubert and setting a new world record with 6.84 seconds.

In bouldering, Garnbret ranked the highest. She first faced a 35 degree wall which posed an insurmountable challenge for quite a few competitors, but she was the first and only climber to crack this tough nut and climb right to the top.

In the qualification the 22-year-old dominated in bouldering, clinching four tops and a similar scenario played out in the final where she was the only one to have made it to the top twice in what was a challenge of climbing three different boulders.

Her ascent to the top of the second boulder was especially impressive as she made it look almost easy, succeeding in her first attempt.

In lead, where Garnbret is known to be best, holding two World Champion titles, she again dominated as she made it almost to the top, having gripped 37+ holds.

In her first comment after becoming Olympic Champion, she was visibly moved, displaying tears of joy. "The weight is now off my shoulder," she said, pointing out that when she bounced back in speed to set the national record, she knew she had it in herself to go for the gold.

04 Jul 2021, 14:00 PM

STA, 4 July 2021 - Slovenia's Janja Garnbret continues to excel at this year's climbing World Cup, having won her fourth event this season in Villars, Switzerland on Saturday, which raises hope for the Tokyo Olympics, where she will be the country's main contender for gold.

"My first impression after the event are great. I can't remember the last time I climbed all four routes at an event. I think it was a truly perfect weekend. I enjoyed myself, and felt good," said Garnbret, adding she was happy with her performance, including her speed.

"I broke my personal speed record, going under eight seconds for the first time, and got yet another confirmation in the difficulty level, which is a great sign for Tokyo," she said.

Out of the eight finalists in Villars, four were Slovenian. Vita Lukan was fifth, and Lučka Rakovec and Mia Krampl sevenths and eight, respectively.

Italian Laura Rogora was second and Natalia Grossman from the US was third.

Garnbret will not compete in the next two World Cup events in Chamonix and Briancon, France, to prepare for the Olympics. "I look forward to just being home the last three weeks before the Olympics, training, working on the details, so I'm looking forward to leaving for Tokyo and competing at the Olympics," said Slovenia's best climber.

22 Oct 2019, 17:35 PM

It was a disappointing weekend for Slovene climbing fans in the penultimate Speed and Lead World Cup of the season in Xiamen (China), as Slovenian athletes didn’t win any medals in any of the categories.

Xiamen’s Lead World Cup started this past Saturday, October 19th, with the qualification round. Bad route-setting was a constant all over the weekend, but we could see a first glimpse of it on this first stage, as four women, including Janja Garnbret and Lučka Rakovec, topped both routes in their category – usually it’s highly unlikely than even one competitor can achieve it. Moreover, fourteen female athletes made it to hold 35+ on the first route, and topped the second one.

All three Slovene women who were competing (Garnbret, Rakovec and Krampl) progressed to semifinals on Sunday, where spectators were hoping for a better route-setting that could make the competition slightly more interesting. However, this didn’t happen, and again it was too easy for the athletes to make it  to higher points of the wall, as seventeen climbers made it to hold 33+ or higher, including Lučka Rakovec and Janja Garnbret, who topped the route. Mia Krampl, on the other hand, slipped on hold 18 and was out of the final round.

Fans were hoping that after such disastrous rounds the route-setting would improve for the finals, but they were disappointed. Sadly, the route was once again too easy and the climbers cruised up the wall. With the exception of Ai Mori, who fell on hold 10+, all the other athletes made it to hold 31+ or higher. Janja Garnbret and Lučka Rakovec fell on the last move of the route, but even that was not enough to make it to the podium and they finished in 4th and 6th places after the countback to the semifinals. Unfortunately, this meant that Janja now has no chance of winning the overall lead title in 2019, which would have meant that she’d won everything this season. This doesn’t mean, however, that this season hasn’t been a dream for Slovenia’s female climbers. Garnbret has won the Overall Bouldering Title and has also won a gold medal in all three categories she competed in (Lead, Bouldering and Combined) in the World Championships held two months ago; Rakovec has won her first gold medal in a European Championship and a bronze one in an International World Cup; and Mia Krampl won Silver medal on the Lead World Championship.

The situation was no better on men’s side, and again the route-setting can only be described as poor. Thirty-five athletes out of 53 topped the second route, and eight of them topped both. As a result, for example, both of the Slovene men (Jernej Kruder and Anže Preharc) were out of the semifinals round, even though they topped one route and made it further to hold 30+, a really high up stage on the wall.

However, thanks to this results we now have new Overall Lead World Champions in men’s and women’s categories. Although Adam Ondra (CZE) only participated in three World Cups, he has successfully claimed the title after winning all three competitions. On the women’s side, Chaehyun Seo (KOR), the revelation of the season who is only 15 years old, won the overall title.

Xiamen was also the site of the Speed World Cup, where non-speed specialist such as Adam Ondra himself had to compete in order to be able to participate in the Olympic Combined Qualifier that will take place in Toulouse in a month. As the highlight of the competition, Aries Susanti Rahayu (INDO) broke the female world record in Speed for the final round, reaching the top in 6.995 seconds. She is the first woman to complete the speed route in less than 7 seconds.

The last Lead World Cup event of the season will take place this next weekend in Inzai, Japan. As the main titles have already a winner, we will have to wait and see which athletes actually decide to participate in the last World Cup of the year, and hope that the route-setting is better this time.

08 Oct 2019, 10:38 AM

After last week’s IFSC World Cup in Kranj, sport climbing moved to Edinburgh for the European Championships in Lead and Speed categories. After IFSC World Cups, these are one of the most important competitions in sport climbing, and fans were eager to see who could get the medals.

All Slovene eyes were set on Lučka Rakovec after her first bronze medal seven days prior to this event, and she did not disappoint. She safely made it to the semi-finals in 4th position and was ready to fight in Sunday’s afternoon final round. Young climber Luce Douady, the first one out at the final, set a really high point – hold 43 – but it was Lučka who broke it some minutes later after achieving an impressive 46+. After her performance it was clear that the route for the final, although it wasn’t extremely hard on a technical level, required plenty of endurance and a quick climbing style to make it to the top, which at the end became the key factor to separate the athletes. No other climber could make it higher than new Slovene rising star, and Lučka claimed her first gold medal in a senior competition.

Tjaša Kalan was the second Slovene woman to compete in the finals, and although she looked strong on the first part of the route she got stuck after hold 19 and lost a lot of valuable time trying to get over this obstacle. She managed to move on, however, but was already pumped after her fight and fell shortly after on hold 22+.

Legend Mina Markovič (she has won 21 IFSC World Cups) also made it to the finals. Her climbing style was secure through all the route, but when she made it to the final section of the wall she couldn’t find a good combination of moves to get to the top, and fell just one hold before the medal positions.

After Lučka, the podium was completed by Laura Rogora in second place and Luce Douady in third position. Since all of them are 18 years old or younger, we can safely say that sport climbing has an exciting future in the upcoming years.

As for the men, Martin Bergant qualified in 8th position in the semi-finals and successfully made it to his first Senior Lead Final. On this stage, he set the first high point of the competition (hold 34+) and remained at the top of the ranking until Alberto Ginés López, from Spain, jumped on the wall and fell after hold 38+. Martin was really close to the bronze medal, and although both him and Sascha Lehmann reached the same hold before falling. Sascha had more time left on the clock, which meant that he was awarded with 3rd place while Martin finished 4th. Nevertheless, this is not a bad result at all for the 23-year-old climber from Škofija Loka, who will surely deliver more good performances in the near future.

Luka Potocar also qualified for his First Senior Lead Final after an impressive performance in the semi-finals. However, when it was his turn to climb, he made a route reading mistake and went on the wrong path on the wall, and unfortunately he fell really early on.

No other surprises happened, and Adam Ondra successfully achieved the high point on the route at hold 45+, winning once again a Lead event and proving, for those of who still doubted it, that he can definitely qualify for the 2020 Olympics in next month’s event in Toulouse.

Janja Garnbret did not attend this event.

All our stories on sport climbing are here

06 Oct 2019, 20:10 PM

STA, 6 October 2019 - Lučka Rakovec became the European lead champion in Edinburgh on Sunday, adding another highlight to what has been a spectacular season for Slovenian sports climbing.

This is the biggest success in the career of 18-year-old Rakovec and confirms Slovenia has an incredible wealth of sports climbing talent that goes well beyond the reigning triple world champion Janja Garnbret who is not competing in Edinburgh.

Garnbret also won lead gold at the August World Championships in Hachioji while silver went to her compatriot Mia Krampl.

What is more, courtesy of Urška Repušič and Vita Lukan, gold and silver also went to Slovenia at the September European bouldering championships in Zakopane.

01 Oct 2019, 18:11 PM

Slovene sport climbing fans had an intense weekend, with the arrival of the IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup to Kranj. The competition landed in Slovenia with a wide range of possibilities ahead. Before this weekend, on women’s competition Chaehyun Seo from Korea was leading the way with two victories, while local hero Janja Ganrbret closely followed in the second place in the overall ranking.

Kranj’s World Cup started on Saturday with the qualification round. After a strong performance on this stage, Garnbret safely moved to the semi-finals after she topped one route and made it to hold 39+ on the second one. However, she fell really low down on the wall at the semi-finals, missing her second final in this year’s lead competition. This means that after this weekend, although she is still in second place in the overall ranking with 243 points, it is less likely that she will be able to win the lead title.

On the other hand, Mia Krampl and Lučka Rakoveč safely made it to the finals, which took place on Sunday evening in front of a massive, delighted crowd. Mia Krampl went first, and although she looked really strong in the first half of the route, she almost slipped on hold 20, and after she tried to go for hold 21 she sadly fell down. Certainly not the final Mia was expecting, but surely she will go for the win on upcoming competitions. As a matter of fact, holds 20 and 21 became a problem for some of the athletes, as four of them went down at this point.

However, when Lučka Rakoveč, the other female Slovene athlete, jumped on the mats, the audience went crazy once again. Her climbing style was powerful and secure, and she safely made it through holds 20 and 21 without further ado. Lučka started to look slightly pumped after her rest on the overhanging part of the wall, and fell down after hold 34+. After the last climber out, Ai Mori, also went down on hold 20+ – the same as Mia Krampl – Lučka secured a bronze medal in Kranj’s World Cup, successfully achieving her first podium in a Lead World Cup. As she did on the past World Cups, Chaehyun Seo secured her third win of the season reaching to hold 34.5+, while Jessica Pilz from Austria claimed the silver medal with a 34.5.

As for the rest of female Slovene athletes, Tjaša Kalan, Lana Skušek and Mina Markovič made it to  the semi-finals and ended up in 10th, 11th and 15th places. Lucija Tarkuš finished her competition in 41st place in the qualification round.

On the men’s side, Alexander Megos (Germany) and Sasha Lehmann (Switzerland) and William Bosi (United Kingdom) were battling over the first positions on the overall ranking. However, several surprises waited ahead over the weekend as all of them missed this competition. All eyes were therefore on Adam Ondra after he missed his first chance to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and Jakob Schubert (two times Overall Lead World Cup Winner).

sport climbing adam ondra.JPG

Adam Ondra on the wall. YouTube

The first did not disappoint and absolutely dominated all competition rounds. He topped both routes in qualification, finished on hold 39+ – almost the top – at the semi-finals and once again topped the final route, being the only man who actually made it past hold 32. Impressive performance by the Czech climber, who was a crowd-pleaser and delivered a great show for local audience.

No such luck for Jakob Schubert, who was the penultimate athlete to jump into the mats and had to deal with hold 12+ losing its friction as the competition went on. After he didn’t find a good position to face this problem, he fell down before even reaching the middle of the route.

Surprises were not over as Kai Harada, a climber who usually performs better on boulder categories, finished his competition in 2nd place, and young rising star Alberto Ginés Lopez, a 16-year-old from Spain, made it to his first Lead World Cup Podium in 3rd position.

As for the Slovene male athletes, none of them could make it into the final. Luka Potočar, Martin Bergant and Anze Peharc performed really well on semi-final round but could only make it to13th, 15th and 16th positions. In the qualification round, Jernej Kruder, Žiga Zajc, Milan Preskar and Andrej Polak finished in 42nf, 45th, 52th and 56th places.

With only two Lead World Cups remaining, Janja Garnbret, Mia Krampl and Lučka Rakovec will  be able to perform her last battles of the season to secure positions in the overall lead podium. Next stop will be Xiamen (China), from the 18th till the 20th of October.

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