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Mina Markovic, Jain Kim, Katharina Posch
Photo by Stanko Gruden
Sachi Amma, Sean McColl, Jakob Schubert
Photo by Stanko Gruden
Katharina Posch
Photo by Stanko Gruden

Sean McColl and Jain Kim win in Kranj. Schubert and Markovic win Lead World Cup 2011


The penultimate stage of the Lead World Cup took place in Kranj, Slovenia last night and was won by Sean McColl from Canada and Jain Kim from Korea. Jakob Schubert from Austria and Mina Markovic from Slovenia have won the Lead World Cup 2011, one one stage ahead of schedule.

Were we to tell you that we'd dreamt about it, you wouldn't believe us. But it's the truth. Perhaps our vision had been fuelled by Big Paw, the first 8C boulder problem he recently sent at Cresciano, but in our dream the small and extremely strong Sean McColl was standing on the highest podium position in Kranj, jubilantly celebrating his first-ever victory after having missed out on gold in Valence a few weeks back and a couple of times in the bouldering comps last year.

This is exactly what happened last night, when the Canadian beat Sachi Amma from Japan by a hair's breadth (the same hold held vs. merely touched) while Austrian Jakob Schubert finished three holds lower. All the rest finished lower still: Romain Desgranges from France, Urban Primozic from Slovenia, Jorg Verhoeven from Holland, Manuel Romain from France and Hyunbin Min from Korea. Not bad for what was surely McColl's dream, too. At least you'll believe us on this one.

As usual the 55 men who battled it to gain the (very international) final had some serious climbing to do, and illustrious victims who failed to qualify include Magnus Midtboe, Thomas Tauporn e and above all Ramón Julian Puigblanque. The young Italian squad defended itself well with Stefano Ghisolfi 20th, Marcello Bombardi 28th, Silvio Reffo 29th, Francesco Vettorata 41th and Martino Ischia 44th.

In the women's event all eyes were on Mina Markovic who, competing in front of the home crowd, was a stone's throw from her first-ever overall World Cup victory. Markovic certainly didn't disappoint her fans and finished second behind closest rival Jain Kim, maintaining an unassailable 121 points which guaranteed her victory overall! Obviously there could have been no better place to seal and celebrate a victory of this magnitude and here too another dream came true last night.

In the well-set women's final bronze went to young Austrian Katharina Posch while Mathilde Brumagne from Belgium finished 4th, Maja Vidmar from Slovenia 5th, Angela Eiter from Austria 6th, Charlotte Durif from France 7th and Johanna Ernst from Austria 8th. Italian Jenny Lavarda finished an excellent 11th while we believe 29th place doesn't do justice to Sara Avoscan's undisputed talent.

So the curtain will close next weekend after the final stage of the Lead World Cup 2011 on 26 and 27 November in Barcelona. While Jakob Schubert and Mina Markovic have already sealed overall victory, Puigblanque's Slovenian slip-up now means that the battle for silver and bronze is open once again, with Sacchi Amma a mere 32 points behind the Spaniard. We'll see what happens next...

Results Kranj 19-20/11/2011

1 Kim Jain KOR 47-
2 Markovic Mina SLO 44-
3 Posch Katharina AUT 31.5+
4 Brumagne Mathilde BEL 28-
5 Vidmar Maja SLO 27+
6 Eiter Angela AUT 26
7 Durif Charlotte FRA 26
8 Ernst Johanna AUT 20-

1 McColl Sean CAN 35+
2 Amma Sachi JPN 35
3 Schubert Jakob AUT 32-
4 Desgranges Romain FRA 31
5 Primozic Urban SLO 31-
6 Verhoeven Jorg NED 30-
7 Romain Manuel FRA 30-
8 Min Hyunbin Kor 30-





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