The IFSC Briançon results are in! The first major international tournament since lockdown was amazing to watch - though hampered by many countries not attending.
Getting to see world class climbers trying super hard routes was a treat - and it was definitely a great show to watch. Though this comp was very different, it must have been great for climbers and team to catch up, as well as to get back into the competitive mindset. The IFSC Briançon event is always a well run, modern event.
Many countries didn't attend due to travel restrictions and most competitors were from mainland Europe. Notably there was no-one competing from Japan, China, UK, USA, or Canada. Without their major competitors - notably the incredibly strong Japanese team - it means that there will no points awarded for this event.
The last major climbing competition was the IFSC Pan-American Championships - aka the last chance for climbers from the Americas to win an Olympic invite. Alannah Yip of Canada and Colin Duffy of the USA won their places there. Shortly after that it was clear that world travel and packed comps wouldn't be on the cards.
IFSC Briançon 2020 was a lead event only. It may end up being the only IFSC World Cup Lead event this year because of the changing situation with travel restrictions though it's hoped we can see more. There also won't be overall winners crowned for the World Cup even if events do resume. Hopefully Climbing in the Olympics 2021 will still go ahead.
IFSC Briançon Results - Mens
Without Olympic favorite Tomoa Narakasi present there was one clear favorite to win this event. Starting out in qualifications he was the only Male to top both routes, tied in semis with the same 39+ result, then in finals was the only climber to top out. Of course this was Adam Ondra with another great World Cup event win for the Czech Republic!
Domen Skofic of Slovenia took second place by getting to hold 41 in the final and a decent placing in semis. In third was Jakob Schubert with a close 38+. In semis he tied for placing with Ondra. Alex Megos fell surprisingly low on the finals wall to take fifth, but after having sent the world's second 9c / 5.15d just two weeks ago we can't imagine this was a huge blow to his ego.
It's worth noting that Rishat Khaibulllin of Kazakhstan came fifth in the qualifications though didn't manage to get from Semis to Finals. As primarily a speed climber he really does stand a chance in the Olympics of placing very high with this performance in lead. With a 1st or 2nd in Speed and a good Lead run he could well see Olympics Gold in 2021.
Read the full Men's scoring and placing.
IFSC Briançon Results - Womens
The Women's finals were incredible to watch after a frustrating semi-final. The young Laura Rogora of Italy topped out to take first place. Laura is looking incredibly strong at the moment and honestly it's surprising to see her place so high in competitions - given that she's been so focused on outdoors climbing right now.
Laura become the second Woman to climb 9b just last month and had only just became the fifth Woman to climb 9a+ or higher a few months before that. As with Alex Megos, it's normal for climbers to lose competition strength when focusing so much on singular projects outdoors instead of spending most of their time training in the gym. Really amazing stuff from Laura.
Of course it wouldn't be a comp without Janja Garnbret getting a medal. Janja also topped the final route, but fell lower in the semi-final which settled placement. Fanny Gibert of France took third at hold 42, taking bronze in her first ever Lead final. She just edged out Jessica Pilz who got a 41+.
The semi-finals were hard to watch and must have been harder for the setters. Many climbers fell while moving from the 26th hold, so there were placement issues and a few appeals to judges. The ideal route will be really consistently difficult but even a slightly harder move can lead to many falling at the same point. The route setting overall was amazing and it's a hard job that comes with a huge amount of scrutiny in the big comps.
Read the full Women's scoring and placing.
You can watch the full finals and semi-finals further below or check the IFSC YouTube channel for their highlights shortly.