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Ramon Julian Puigblanque
Photo by Giulio Malfer
Jain Kim, winner in 2010. And 2011.
Photo by Urban Golob
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Lead World Cup, Jain Kim and Ramon Julian Puigblanque win in Atlanta

05.10.2012 by Planetmountain

On Sunday 30/09/2012 Jain Kim from Korea and Ramon Julian Puigblanque from Spain won the 5th stage of the Lead World Cup 2012 in Atlanta (USA) and doubled their takings after victory in Puurs (BEL) a week ago.

Ramón Julian Puigblanque and Jain Kim succeeded in Atalanta, the 5th stage of the IFSC Lead Climbing World Cup 2012 is officially theirs. Both managed to win for the second time running, after victory in Belgium's Puurs last week and this result is extremely important and came about after a down-to-the-wire comp which saw them joint-equal in the finals together with Jacob Schubert (who reacted with pride after his disqualification in Belgium) and Mina Markovic and were therefore split by the Semifinal results. The Spaniard now climbs into 2nd place overall, a mere point behind Sachi Amma from Japan who managed to place "only" 4th in the States, just like in Belgium. For her part, the Korean has now gained vital points for her comeback hopes against Slovenia's Markovic who remains in the lead, but her +18 certainly doesn't leave enough room for comfort. In short, with another 4 competitions to go (Xining – CHN, Mokpo – KOR, Inzai – JPN e Kranj – SLO) the game is still wide open, and not only among those mentioned already.

Once again all those leading the World Cup rankings left their mark in Atalanta. In the men's event Puigblanque and Schubert were the only two to top out in the final, but it is worth noting Romain Desgranges: the best after the Semifinal and then 3rd overall, the Frenchman tied in the final with Sachi Amma and was split on the basis of his superior Semifinal result.Desgranges is now third in the provisional ranking with 264 points (a mere 11 behind Amma) which means that the the race for bronze is still on. Especially when you bear in mind the current World Champion Jacob Schubert is provisional 4th, trailing by -19 points. Jorg Verhoeven and Sean McColl, 5th and 7th respectively, might also have their say as they are still have the final podium in their sights and are currently 7th (Verhoeven) and 5th (McColl). In Atlanta two 18-year-olds left their mark, too: Austria's Mario Lechner is increasingly finding his feet and finished 6th, his best this season, while 8th went to Slovenia's Domen Skofic with his best result to date.

The women's event proved to be highly fought over, too. Kim started badly by missing out on the top in the qualification, but did good in the Semifinal with the second-best result, just behind the (magnificent) climb of 18-year-old Hélène Janicot who produced the only top in the 26-strong Semifinal. Markovic for her part qualified for the final in provisional 6th, and this handicap proved expensive (i.e. the split for first place) since both she and Kim fell from the same height in the final. Third place went to Slovenia's Maja Vidmar and this is indicative of her form, seeing that Atalanta is only her 2nd competition this year. Austria's Johanna Ernst finished 4th ahead of teammate Katharina Posch, Hélène Janicot, Dinara Fakhritdinova and Seuran Han. Which means that the provisional ranking is led by Mina Markovic, followed by Jain Kim (-18 points), Johanna Ernst (-55) and the revelation Hélène Janicot (-70). Italy was represented by tireless Jenny Lavarda who finished 20th in Atlanta and is 17th overall.

The World Cup circuit continues on 12 October at Xining in China for the first of three comps in the extreme Orient, prior to the grand finale in Kranj, Slovenia.

Results Lead World Cup Atlanta 2012
Men

1 Ramón Julian Puigblanque ESP
2 Jakob Schubert AUT
3 Romain Desgranges FRA
4 Sachi AMMA JPN
5 Jorg Verhoeven NED
6 Mario Lechner AUT
7 Sean McColl CAN
8 Domen Skofic SLO

Women
1 Jain Kim KOR
2 Mina Markovic SLO
3 Maja Vidmar SLO
4 Johanna Ernst AUT
5 Katharina Posch AUT
6 Hélène Janicot FRA
7 Dinara Fakhritdinova RUS
8 Seuran Han KOR

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