For the first time ever, we saw British athletes compete in both the women’s and men’s final of an IFSC Lead World Cup when the GB Climbing Team headed to the legendary mountain town of Chamonix. With both Molly Thompson-Smith and Will Bosi making it through semis, we were excited to see how they’d do in the finals.
The GB Climbing Team headed to Chamonix for the second round of the IFSC Lead World Cup series. Competing for the GB Climbing Team were Molly Thompson-Smith, Shauna Coxsey, Jo Neame, Emily Phillips and Rhoslyn Frugtnient in the women’s competition, and Will Bosi, Jim Pope, Dave Barrans and Hamish McArthur in the men’s competition.
The whole team put in excellent performances, but Molly and Will climbed exceptionally well to both earn places in the final, which is the first time British athletes have competed in both the men's and women's final of an IFSC Lead World Cup.
After a challenging semi-final where, in a surprising turn of events, Janja Garnbret of Slovenia was knocked out of the women’s competition when she slipped from the route and Molly managed to just pip Janja for a place in the final, meaning it was the first Lead World Cup that Janja had ever entered where she wouldn't be competing in the final. However, Molly's place in the final was well-earned and it was an especially incredible performance considering she is still recovering from injury. Shauna Coxsey also qualified for the semi-final and climbed well on the headwall until she fell from a crossover move after a tough headwall section to place in 23rd position.
The final was great to watch again, but a stopper move proved too difficult for all the athletes which meant the top five places came down to countback. Molly came out strong as usual, making her way through the initial section with ease, and climbed up two places to finish in 6th place. Amazingly, Chaehyun Seo of South Korea, who before this lead season started was relatively unknown, took the gold medal after winning silver in Villars last week! Second place in Chamonix went to YueTong Zhang of China, and third was claimed by Jessy Pilz of Austria.
Over in the men’s competition, a challenging semi-finals saw many of the usual names disappointed to miss out on a place in the final. However, Will Bosi put in sterling performance to qualify for the final in Chamonix for the second year running, and was set to climb with superstars Adam Ondra, Alex Megos, and Jakob Schubert.
Will climbed brilliantly to claim 4th place and it’s clear he’s very comfortable in front of a large crowd – while finding a resting position on the wall, he turned to wave to the crowd for more cheers! Alex Megos was first out and climbed steadily, looking like he might top the route until a foot popped and he was suddenly off; his scream upon falling told the full story of his disappointment. Jakob Schubert also made short work of the tricky, steep moves, but just failed to reach Alex’s high point which still had the potential to earn Alex gold. However, Adam Ondra came out strong with his usual fast and confident climbing style and managed to find his way onto the crimps just below the top of the route to take the win. Adam stood on top of the podium, Alex took silver, and Jakob claimed bronze.
We’re sure we’ll see Will compete in many more finals to come and that it won’t be long before we see him fight his way onto the podium.
Will Bosi said: “In my opinion, Chamonix is the best comp of the year with the best/biggest crowd. So I can't even start to describe how happy and excited it made me to compete in the finals again. Same again next year hopefully!”
WATCH: The highlights of the IFSC Lead World Cup in Chamonix
1. Adam Ondra (CZE)
2. Alex Megos (GER)
3. Jakob Schubert (AUT)
4. Will Bosi (GBR)
5. Alberto Ginés López (ESP)
6. Martin Stranik (CZE)
7. Sean McColl (CAN)
8. Kai Harada (JPN)
40. Jim Pope (GBR)
42. Dave Barrans (GBR)
55. Hamish McArthur (GBR)
1. Chaehyun Seo (KOR)
2. YueTong Zhang (CHN)
3. Jessy Pilz (AUT)
4. Ai Mori (JPN)
5. Ashima Shiraishi (USA)
6. Molly Thompson-Smith (GBR)
7. Lucka Rakovec (SLO)
8. Natsuki Tanii (JPN)
23. Shauna Coxsey (GBR)
37. Jo Neame (GBR)
64. Emily Phillips (GBR)
75. Rhoslyn Frugtniet (GBR)
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