Slovenian climber Janja Garnbret has won the first ever combined event at a World Climbing Championships, an indication that she will be among the top contenders when the event has its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020.
A combination of lead, speed and bouldering, the combined saw Garnbret win the event on Sunday ahead of the South Korean Sa Sol and Jessica Pilz of Austria to add to her already impressive tally of bouldering gold and lead silver in Innsbruck.
The win not only makes the 19-year-old the most successful competitor of this World Championships, she has also become the only climber in history, male or female, to win world champion titles in three events, having already won the lead title in Paris two years ago.
“I did not expect this gold. I was not preparing much for the combined … I had no idea it would turn out the way it did today,” Garnbret said, adding that her focus had been on bouldering, an event in which she had not won at a World Championship before.
“It has turned out that I am the most versatile competitor. It means a lot to me and it bodes really well for Tokyo,” she noted.