Day 9: Janja Garnbret and Anak Verhoeven World Champions Youth A and Juniors


Final female youth A lead

The second Lead final of this Youth World Championship was the Under 18 Youth A. The route tackled the tower on the left, the same one used in the “smaller” Youth B final. The spectators knew the “filters”, those demanding sections that barred towards the top. Above all that big sloping black hold that opened the gates to the – still demanding – upper section. Switzerland’s Michelle Hulliger fell well below this crux. Britain’s Grace McKeehan did somewhat better and almost reached that section, those long reach to the hold that (in Youth B) was considered the bridging point towards the upper realm.  A bridge that remained distant for Italy’s Ilaria Scolaris who fell lower, falling off the same hold as Hulliger. Immediately afterwards Asja Gollo, the other Italian in the running for the title,  climbed higher than McKeehan, continued upwards but then fell right at the limit. Provisional first, 4 holds higher than the Brit. But the gates to the upper section remained well and truly shut. For everyone.Even for America’s Claire Buhrfeind who fell a hold from her teammate McKeehan. Only Margo Hayes, the third American in the finals, managed to break through the crux and make some headway. A feat impossible for Japan’s Aika Tajima, who climbed past Gollo’s highpoint but then stopped 3 holds short of Hayes who, with just one athlete still to come, was provisional first. Tajima lay in provisional second, Gollo third. Many knew that these results (unfortunately above all for the Italian spectators) were destined to change, as the last athlete out was Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret. The Boulder World Champion had, until now, completely dominated the Lead, and she was the only Youth A athlete who had climbed to the top of all Lead routes. So when Garnbret breached the crux and started up towards the top, few were amazed. And like a real champion she climbed to the top. So after having won the Boulder title, she also took gold in the Lead, demonstrating that these youngsters are a force to be reckoned with in both disciplines. And also, and above all, that she is a champion of the new future. She was followed into second place by America’s Margo Hayes (who doubled her takings after winning silver in the Boulder Championships), while bronze went to Aika Tajima from Japan. Italy’s Asja Gollo finished fourth and, by a single hold, only just failed to replicate her third place after winning bronze in the Boulder Championship. While her teammate Ilaria Scolaris places 7th overall.

Final female Juniors Lead

In the Under 20 Final the turning point came all of a sudden, brought about by Austria’s Jessica Pilz. Everyone before her on the huge righthand wall had fallen far lower, even before reaching the large overhang and upside-down wave that leads over the lip and towards the top. Neither Julia Fiser nor Claudia Ghisolfi managed to get that far, although the Italian did beat the Austrian by a The Austrian not only climbed higher than the rest but, with great tenacity, managed to work he way to well under the roof. And, after all that upside down climbing – by no means easy and at times even “confusing”- she fell just a few holds short of the top. Her immense battle had netted probably netted her a podium. Which was confirmed when Sweden’ Kajsa Ottilia Rosen (one of the three to top out in the semi-final) fell low, at the height of France’s Salomé Romain. And even more so when France’s Julia Chanourdie, second in the Semifinals, dropped off two holds below her. At this point, with only one athlete still to come, Pilz was provisional first and had, at worst, won silver. . While Chanourdie was definitely third. The time now came of for Anak Verhoeven. The Belgian had to defend his provisional first place from the semifinals. She knew that the gap between her and the others was minimal. Just like she knew that she would have to give it everything she had. And this is exactly what she did, even technically speaking, in particular below the big roof and lip. She gritted her teeth and pulled out all the stops to climb one hold higher than Pilz. So she, Anak Verhoeven, was the new Juniors Lead World Champion. Austria’s Jessica Pilz won silver. France’s Julia Chanourdie bronze. While Claudia Ghisolfi finished her competition in 6th place.

by Vinicio Stefanello /

– Gallery 2015
– Video 2015
– Results 2015