Janja Garnbret (SLO), Anouck Jaubert (FRA) and Jakob Schubert (AUT) clinched season titles at the penultimate IFSC World Cup of 2018 in Wujiang, China, and Aspar Jaelolo and Aries Susanti Rahayu won Indonesia two gold medals. Romain Desgranges (FRA) and Jain Kim (KOR) also excelled in Wujiang.
The path wasn’t easy, but Jaubert found a way to secure* a second consecutive Speed season title at the penultimate event in Wujiang today. She bested teammate Aurelia Sarisson in the opening race of Speed finals, outpaced a fast Sari Agustina (INA) in the quarterfinal with a time under 8 seconds and slapped the finishing pad less than one second before Mariia Krasavina (RUS) to guarantee at least 2nd place in Wujiang, enough to remain Speed season champion. Susanti Rahayu recorded multiple times under 8 seconds in Wujiang, including the second fastest time of the day in the big final against Jaubert for her second victory this year. Only Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) was faster among the finalists (7.650 seconds), edging teammate Krasavina for bronze. MingWei Ni (CHN) performed well in front of her home crowd and finished in 7th place.
Reza Alipourshenazandifar (IRI) and Ludovico Fossali (ITA) advanced past the opening round of the men’s Speed final in exciting races decided by hundredths of a second. Aleksandr Shilov (RUS) caught up to Danyil Boldyrev (UKR) in the quarterfinal to end his winning streak at two, and Jaelolo recorded the fastest time of the day in the quarterfinal (5.710 seconds). Jaelolo duplicated the feat against Alipourshenazandifar in the semi-final and held on in the big final against Fossali for Indonesia’s second gold medal in Wujiang. In the close small final against Shilov, Alipourshenazandifar stayed under 6 seconds for the fourth time today in as many races for bronze. JinXin Li of China finished in 6th place.
Heavy rain forced a cancellation of the Lead finals, and instead the results of semi-finals decided the Lead winners in Wujiang and Lead season champions. The women’s semi-final route centred on a challenging crux move to a distant pocket which only a handful of finalists mastered. Katharina Posch (AUT) was first to latch the hold and finished in 5th place. Akiyo Noguchi (JPN) set a new high point at the headwall shortly after, a mark bested only by top-ranked Lead athletes Garnbret, Kim and Jessica Pilz (AUT). Pilz lasted one move more for third place and came up just short of the decisive positive movement to the next hold which Garnbret and Kim showed. Tied across semi-finals and qualifications, Garnbret and Kim tied for 1st place. The shared victory was enough for Garnbret to clinch a third consecutive Lead season title. Kim’s performance secured a spot on her 10th Lead season podium behind Garnbret and Pilz.
Most semi-finalists completed the jump on the sustained men’s semi-final route, a battle of endurance on the steepest section of the Lead wall. Hidemasa Nishida (JPN) was first to reach the headwall, and Hyunbin Min (KOR) fought the pump to collect one more hold and the bronze medal. In the end, Desgranges held on longest to take the victory and improved his positioning in the Lead season ranking, and Jakob Schubert (AUT) placed 2nd to secure the third Lead season title of his career. 5th in Wujiang, Stefano Ghisolfi (ITA) clinched 2nd place in the Lead season ranking. Full results can be found on the Wujiang event page, and click here to view current season rankings.
*Note: As per Rule 11.7.4.ii, the worst score is dropped in the season ranking for athletes competing in all IFSC World Cup events of that disciplne.