Garnbret and Anraku win Koper World Cup Golds
- Monday 11th September 2023
Janja Garnbret and Sorato Anraku took the top spots in the Koper World Cup over the weekend of 9/10th September.
The penultimate World Cup of the year was held in Koper, Slovenia over the weekend and some, but certainly not all, the recently confirmed Olympian contenders for Paris 2024 were absent from the starting line-up. Not so however for Janja Garnbret, she was undoubtedly keen to give her home crowd something to cheer about. The two young guns, Sorato Anraku and Toby Roberts, were there too; both very focused on taking another gold medal home.
Qualification and Semi-finals
Janja Ganbret and Ai Mori once again dominated both the qualification and the semi-final rounds. Garnbret was the only athlete topping both qualification routes although Ai Mori was very close behind; both climbers fell at the same point in the semis so Garnbret went forward into the final in lead on countback.
Having been off the pace for much of the year, Olympic champion Albert Gines Lopez finished the qualification round with the only double top; Sorato Anraku, Jesse Grupper and Sascha Lehmann all finished just behind however. Positions flipped after the semi leaving Anraku, Roberts and Grupper in the top three spots going into the final.
Having qualified for the finals in 8th place Gines Lopez got the action underway in the Men’s final and made steady progress until he was caught out by a hard section at mid-height. Whilst Gines Lopex had fallen at 23+ and looked as though he was out of the running the next few climbers all fell below his high-point. Jesse Grupper emerged to climb third from last he posted a storming performance climbing high onto the headwall before falling at 42+. Toby Roberts was next out but, like many, he too fell off the mid-height boulder leaving the way open for Anraku. Although he said later he was nervous, Anraku climbed through the mid-height boulder problem – even chalking up mid-move where others had fallen. Once through that section he looked extremely comfortable and topped out – seemingly finding it very much within his comfort zone. Gines Lopez held onto third place, edging Toby Roberts off the podium to finish in fourth.
Talking after the event Anraku said: “I was so nervous before my climb, but I tried to put that to the back of my mind and just climb well. After my first Lead gold in Briancon, I wanted to carry that on, and I have been training really hard. I wanted another gold in Koper and I have it now so I’m happy.”
Nonoha Kume kicked off the women’s final and climbed solidly until falling at mid-height off move 31+. Mia Krampl was the first of the three Slovenians to climb in the final but sadly, she foot-faulted low down when her foot slipped off a dual texture volume. Both Laura Rogora and Natsuki Tani both fell off at move 33+ whilst Chaehyun Seo made it a little higher to 38+. Vita Lukan, who won gold in a recent event, posted a very solid performance – especially considering her chalk bag fell off mid-climb; eventually, she parted company with the wall at 40+ - ultimately enough for a third-place finish. Ai Mori bettered Lukan’s score and made it almost to the top falling just prior to a long/jump to the finishing hold. Janja Garnbret however made no mistakes topped the route to the delight of the crowd successfully reversing the results from the 2022 Koper event last year. Her Koper win landed Garnbret her 26h Lead World Cup medal.
Speaking after her win Garnbret said: “Finally I got my revenge here in Koper. I enjoyed it so much. From qualis to semis to finals, I don’t know if I have ever been as relaxed as I have been in this competition. I enjoyed climbing in front of a home crowd with the support I really enjoyed, I’m so glad I finally got my first gold in Koper.
“I have to say thank you to all the kids for all the screaming, that really gave me extra motivation. I hope they enjoyed our show. I wish they will all train hard and join us one day on the stage here in Koper.”
Watch the highlights from the finals below.