Slovenian wins bouldering title at IFSC Climbing World Championships in Innsbruck

Janja Garnbret was born to climb.

The 19-year-old starred at the 2018 IFSC Climbing World Championships in Innsbruck, taking victory in bouldering after a silver medal in lead.

Despite an injury to her right shoulder, Garnbret started the bouldering final strongly and was the only climber to complete two of the first three climbs.

By the time she walked up to the wall for the final time, she had already sealed the world title.

And when the clock ran down on her last climb, she burst into tears overwhelmed by emotion.

"This is what I was preparing for the whole season... this means a lot to me."

Garnbret’s Austrian exploits means she now boasts two world titles and is the first female athlete to claim crowns in lead and bouldering.

Glittering CV

After a childhood spent on top of trees, closets and doors, the Slovenian graduated to competitive climbing at six years old.

With a relentless dedication to her craft, five youth world titles followed as she scaled the heights of sport climbing.

She outgrew the youth competitions quickly and turned her attention to competing on the World Cup circuit.

With 13 World Cup victories to date Garnbret is now a global star.

“I love climbing. It is not a load for me to train.” - Janja Garnbret talking to innsbruck2018.com

One look at northern Slovenian-born star’s attitude towards training, and the reasons behind her success become clear.

“I sometimes like training more than competitions. In training, I can relax and give 100%, even if my skin is bad, I really enjoy it. Sometimes, competitions are stressful for me.”

Having claimed the world lead title at age of 17 in 2016, her hunger for success shows no sign of letting up.

“I want to be strong all the time, I want to be better every year. So maybe I won’t get tired of competitions,” she told innsbruck2018.com

Olympic horizons

Sport Climbing will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.

“Like every athlete, this is a big goal for me,” Garnbret admitted.

The new Olympic sport is likely to be a hit in Japan, where the sport enjoys a healthy fan base.

Tomoa Narasake, Kokoro Fujii and Garnbret's rival in Austria Akiyo Noguchi will all be hoping to land sport climbing's first Olympic gold on their home turf.

Forty athletes comprising twenty men and twenty women will compete in a format combining lead, bouldering and speed events.

Climbers will be awarded a total score from their efforts in the three disciplines.

Garnbret will need to work hard on speed if she is to challenge for an Olympic medal.

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