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Jessica Pilz Lead Climbing World Champion 2018

Jessica Pilz won the Lead Climbing World Championships 2018. Janja Garnbret took silver, Jain Kim bronze

A staggering 10 athletes had qualified for the finals, with Laura Rogora, Mei Kotake, Hannah Schubert and Akiyo Noguchi joint-equal on the 44th hold of the semis, and Anak Verhoeven, Jessica Pilz, Jain Kim and Janja Garnbret tied on the top hold. These two blocks of four were separated by Ashima Shiraishi and Mia Krampl and this implied that, should athletes be tied in the 45-move finals, then time would become a deciding factor.

Young Laura Rogora had already produced an outstanding performance to qualify for the finals in her first senior World Championships and as she climbed she waved madly to the crowd and simply enjoyed the moment like never before. After this beautiful start Mei Kotake climbed impeccably, so perfectly in fact that Schubert, Noguchi, Shiraishi and Krampl all failed to reach her highpoint. Even Verhoeven fell lower down, after her foot slipped just as she was powering upwards with ease. Jain Kim was obviously keen on doubling her World Championship takings after having won in 2014 and she climbed with the usual ease and efficiency that have also netted her 25 World Cup victories; she finally climbed past Kotake’s 33rd hold only to fall off immediately afterwards.

With two climbers left to come, the South Korean was guaranteed a medal. All that remained to see was what colour it would be. The crowd cheered as home-athlete Jessica Pilz entered the arena. Having won her first Lead World Cup stage just a few weeks ago, the 21-year-old was evidently on great form; not to be distracted by the spectators Pilz climbed regally, above all on the finishing slab and the double dyno for the top. Astounding.

At this point in order to win, Garnbret was forced not only to reach the top, but also to do so faster than Pilz. No mean feat. Judging by the crowd’s reaction, the Slovenian most certainly knew that Pilz had topped out. Unperturbed, Garnbret held her nerve and powered to the last hold. Her fourth top this competiton. There was no way she could have done better. But how quickly had she reached this final top? Everyone looked towards the judges. For a moment there was absolute confusion. Then the crowd erupted. Pilz was first by just a few seconds. Incredibile.

photo: Sytse van Slooten

Final results
1 Jessica Pilz AUT Top
2 Janja Garnbret SLO Top
3 Jain Kim KOR 34+
4 Mei Kotake JPN 33+
5 Ashima Shiraishi USA 32
6 Anak Verhoeven BEL 31+
7 Mia Krampl SLO 31+
8 Akiyo Noguchi JPN 31+
8 Hannah Schubert AUT 31+
10 Laura Rogora ITA 24+

11 Christine Schranz AUT
11 Molly Thompson-Smith GBR
13 Petra Klingler SUI
14 Hélène Janicot FRA
15 Anne-Sophie Koller SUI
16 Miho Nonaka JPN
17 Katherine Choong SUI
17 Sol Sa KOR
17 Manon Hily FRA
17 Ekaterina Kipriianova RUS
21 Margo Hayes USA
22 Lucka Rakovec SLO
22 Sandra Lettner AUT
24 Ievgeniia Kazbekova UKR
25 Heloïse Doumont BEL
26 Anna Zaikina RUS
27 Katja Kadic SLO
27 Vita Lukan SLO
29 Michelle Hulliger SUI
29 Tjasa Kalan SLO
31 Kyra Condie USA
31 Iuliia Panteleeva RUS
31 Brooke Raboutou USA
34 Urska Repusic SLO
35 Oceania Mackenzie AUS
35 Vanda Michalkova SVK
35 Katharina Posch AUT
38 Stasa Gejo SRB
39 Claire Buhrfeind USA
39 Asja Gollo ITA
41 Chloe Caulier BEL
41 Delaney Miller USA
43 Tina Johnsen Hafsaas NOR
43 Eva Maria Hammelmüller AUT
43 Elena Krasovskaia RUS
43 Ida Kups POL
43 Mina Markovic SLO
48 Iva Vejmolova CZE
49 Alex Puccio USA
50 Laura Stöckler AUT
51 Andrea Kümin SUI
51 Alannah Yip CAN
53 Alejandra Contreras CHI
53 Julia Fiser AUT
55 Andrea Ebner ITA
55 Eliska Novotna CZE
57 Eliska Adamovska CZE
57 Jennifer Wood GBR
59 Celine Cuypers BEL
59 Martina Zanetti ITA
61 Sophia Kwon USA
61 Sabina Vecerova CZE
63 Francis Guillen VEN
63 Tiffany Melius AUS
65 Leslie Romero VEN
65 Lenka Slezakova CZE
67 Rebecca Frangos CAN
67 Naama Yohai ISR
69 Valeri Kremer ISR
69 Lucinda Ann Stirling AUS
69 Nikki Van Bergen NED
72 Alma Bestvater GER
73 Aleksandra Kalucka POL
73 Thais Makino Shiraiwa BRA
75 Natalia Kalucka POL
75 Anna Tsyganova RUS
77 Babette Roy CAN
77 Muykuay Silva CHI
77 Margaryta Zakharova UKR
80 Margarita Agambayeva KAZ
81 Anna Brozek POL
81 Jeongran Ko KOR
81 Nitsa Tvauri GEO
84 Anouck Jaubert FRA
85 Prateeksha Arun IND
85 Luana Riscado BRA
87 Patrycja Chudziak POL
87 Di Niu CHN
89 Erica Gatland NZL
89 Camila Macedo BRA
91 Roxy Perry AUS
91 Mariya Terekhova KAZ
93 Alejandra Inzunza CHI
93 Andrea Rojas ECU
95 Youjin Cha KOR
95 Emma Horan AUS
97 Anna Krajushkina EST
97 Aleksandra Rudzinska POL
99 Patrícia Antunes BRA
99 Lucy Whitehead NZL
101 Antonia Valenzuela CHI



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