The first of four finals scheduled at the IFSC World Cup in Innsbruck, Austria, lived up to the expectations of a sold-out Kletterzentrum, crowning Slovenian multi-decorated climber Janja Garnbret with the 17th Boulder World Cup gold of her career.
The outcome of the final, however, was only decided at the end of the fourth and decisive boulder, which only Garnbret managed to top after three attempts, eventually bursting into tears as the 3,000 fans that filled the venue celebrated her victory.

Janja Garnbret. Marcel den Ouden

“I was a little bit stressed today, to be honest. First, I very much enjoyed the semi-final today, it was a hard round, the boulders were very hard, but this is what we train for. The final felt a little bit easier, I needed to stay focused until the end, and I’m happy that I managed to do it, I’m happy for the last boulder which was the hardest. It was a great test before Paris, I feel great,” said Garnbret moments after the final concluded.

The 25-year-old from Slovenj Gradcu finished with four tops and four zones, placing ahead of 17-year-old teammate Jennifer Eucharia Buckley and 16-year-old Annie Sanders of the USA.

Jennifer Eucharia Buckley Marcel den Ouden

“Youngsters are coming, I’m not that young anymore! It would be sad if no one would be coming after me. I always try to stay focused and sharp to beat them,” added the Tokyo 2020 gold medallist.

Annie Sanders Marcel den Ouden

Both Buckley and Sanders concluded their final with three tops and three zones, only failing to solve problem number four. Buckley, competing in her first-ever Boulder World Cup, managed to place ahead of her US rival thanks to one attempt to top less. Both Buckley’s silver and Sanders’ bronze are the first World Cup medals won by the two young climbers.

Nakamura Mao Marcel den Ouden

Japan’s Nakamura Mao concluded just outside of the medal positions, taking fourth place and recording her best-ever results at a World Cup event. Tokyo 2020 Olympian Jessica Pilz of Austria placed fifth, and Fanny Gibert of France closed in sixth position.

Jessica Pilz Marcel den Ouden
Fanny Gibert Marcel den Ouden