An eventful, sunny Saturday concluded at the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck with 16 climbers making their way to the men’s and women’s Lead finals – the final act of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Innsbruck 2023.

Climbing in front of a loud, massive crowd, South Korea’s Seo Chaehyun and Switzerland’s Sascha Lehmann earned themselves the right to be the last climbers on the wall in tomorrow’s battle for the most precious medals.

None of the 52 semi-finalists managed to top any of the routes, and both Seo and Lehmann fell three moves away from their respective top holds – Seo scoring 46+, and Lehmann closing with 43+.

“It was super hard from the beginning, and it was really tricky, but the route was really cool and I was happy to climb it. I’m so excited for the finals and I really think I can get a medal,” said the 19-year-old Korean climber.

Also finishing with 46+ in the women’s event was Mori Ai of Japan, who eventually took second position in the semi-final because of her lower placement in the qualification round. The winner of the women’s Boulder event at the IFSC World Cup Innsbruck 2023 – Tokyo 2020 Olympic champion Janja Garnbret of Slovenia – followed in third place with 46.

For the complete results of the women’s Lead semi-final click here.

Competing on home turf, Innsbruck-native Jakob Schubert started his Lead season off the right foot, placing second just behind Lehmann with the score of 43.

“This crowd is just crazy!” said Schubert after his climb. “It’s so amazing to climb in front of them and feel their energy, but at the same time before going out you get the goosebumps and feel the pressure.

“The route was perfect in terms of just getting the flow. I climbed quickly so I didn’t have a chance to second fault or start getting nervous during the route. I just felt a super nice flow and found a nice rest point at the end. I felt like I had the energy to top the route, but the last move was very hard. I knew the chance to slip was very high, so I went for the safe route. I knew if I did it like this there was no way to keep on going, but at least I get the score and probably secure the final, and that’s what mattered today,” he added.

Making it into the final alongside the Austrian and Olympic bronze medallist will be the another Tokyo 2020 champion, Alberto Ginés Lopez of Spain, who qualified in seventh position with 40.

Because of a tie between Germany’s Alexander Megos and Japan’s Yoshida Satone, the men’s Lead final will consist of nine competitors.

For the complete results of the men’s Lead semi-final click here.

Tomorrow’s programme will open at 19:30 (UTC+2:00) with the women’s Lead final, followed by the men’s one. Both finals will be live streamed on the IFSC YouTube channel, with geographic restrictions applied. For more information about where to watch the IFSC World Cup Series 2023 please click here.

News and updates about the IFSC event are available on the IFSC website, and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.

Seo Chaehyun of South Korea competes in the women’s Lead semi-final at Innsbruck 2023
Photo: Jan Virt/IFSC

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