Koper Lead World Cup Preview

The hunt for OQS Points continues at the Koper 2023 Lead World Cup.

Janja Garnbret descending after falling on the final route in Koper 2022
Janja Garnbret descending after falling on the final route in Koper 2022 © Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Koper, Slovenia, hosts the penultimate Lead World Cup of the season this weekend. Athletes battle for Combined World Ranking points to earn an invitation to the Olympic Qualification Series (OQS) next year.

The Shadow of the OQS

With a much-reduced field, 69 men and 71 women registered, athletes have a good chance to rack up some much-needed points to get invited to the OQS series next year. Not only are athletes battling to be in the top 48 of the Combined World Ranking, but they are also fighting to be in the top 4 of their country.

For France, Zélia Avezou and Fanny Gilbert are fighting it out for the fourth place, with Gilbert only 53 points ahead of Avezou because Avezou’s strong World Championship Boulder performance does not contribute to the Combined World Ranking.

Avezou has already been selected for the combined European Continental Qualifier in Laval ahead of Gilbert. Fanny missed out on early Lead World Cups due to an injury, so she will be looking for strong performances in Koper and Wujiang in two weeks to cement her place as the 4th best French.

The same is true for Team Japan, with the top four currently being Miho Nonaka, Nonaha Kume, Ryu Nakagawa, and Futaba Ito, as Ai Mori has already qualified. Natsuki Tanii and Mia Aoyahi are among the top 48 who will miss out due to restrictions in the country.

Still, athletes need to get into the top 48 after removing those already qualified and respecting country limits. Alannah Yip (CAN) is currently in 48th place for the Women and Jonas Utelli (SUI) for the men, with Maya Stasiuk (AUS) and Yuval Shimla (ISL) just outside in 49th place, respectively.


Janja Garnbret and Ai Mori are both registered for Koper. Garnbret has confirmed that Koper will be her last World Cup of the season, so she will want to go out on a high. Mori won last year and will want to show that she is the best Lead climber on the circuit after her World Championship win ahead of Garnbret.

The common finalists, including Jessica Pilz, Chaehyun Seo, and Jain Kim, are all registered. Ten other Slovenian women are registered, including World Cup gold medalist Vita Lukan and world championship silver medalist Mia Krampl from 2019.

Natalia Grossman and Brooke Raboutou are both registered for the competition. Both are favourites for the single Olympic ticket at the Pan American Continental Qualifier in Chile in October.

Both Jakob Schubert and Adam Ondra are absent, but the youngsters Sorato Anraku and Toby Roberts are registered and looking for their second World Cup gold.

Sascha Lehmann will want a strong performance after a disappointing World Championship, in which he did not make the finals of the Lead or Combined events.

Alex Megos and the Americans Sean Bailey, Jesse Gruper, and Colin Duffy are also registered for the event. Team Japan brings six additional athletes, including Yoshiyuki Ogata, Masahiro Higuchi, and Taisei Homma. Luka Potocar won last year but has yet to replicate his form this year.

★ ★ ★ Ai Mori, Janja Garnbret
★ ★ Chaehyun Seo, Jessica Pilz, Brooke Raboutou
Natalia Grossman, Jain Kim, Vita Lukan, Nonaha Kume
★ ★ ★ Alex Megos, Toby Roberts, Sorato Anraku
★ ★ Sasha Lehmann, Colin Duffy
Ao Yurikusa, Masahiro Higuchi, Taisei Homma, Luka Potocar


8 September Lead Qualification 09:00 – 13:45

8 September Men & Women Lead Semi-final 20:00 – 22:30

9 September Men Lead Final 20:00 – 21:00

9 September Women Lead Final 21:00 – 22:00

More details can be found on the IFSC Event page.

All times are UTC+2.

Where to Watch

You will be able to watch on

  • Eurosport Player within Europe,
  • ESPN Latin America and the Olympic Channel for Central and South America
  • TVRI in Indonesia
  • The IFSC YouTube Channel for other countries

You can catch up on the competition 24 hours afterwards on the Olympic Channel.

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