The Circuit Female competition climber of 2016: Janja Garnbret
2016 was a benchmark year for 17 year old Slovenian star Janja Garnbret. Coming from an incredible career in the junior ranks, where she has only ever lost one international comp in 19 appearances (excluding Speed for which she doesn’t train), Janja was looking to build on 2015 where she had been introduced to a limited schedule of IFSC World Cups by her coaching team to ease her into senior competition.
Her first IFSC World Cup of the year was the Bouldering event in Meiringen, Switzerland where she was leading after semi-finals. However, unused to the nerves, or fatigued by the schedule, she faded to 5th in Finals. The signs for her competition were already ominous though, the young star was on form!
Following up a month later Janja climbed strongly in Innsbruck, Austria to take her first podium in a Boulder World Cup with a second place finish.
Then the Lead season began!
First place was hers in Chamonix, Villars and Briancon, and Janja was looking unstoppable until temporarily derailed by a mid-season slump where she faded to her equal worst ever finish of 5th in Imst and then only secured 3rd in Arco.
Bouncing back superbly, Janja secured the title of Senior World Champion in Paris and with her win in Xiamen added the World Cup overall crown to her achievements for the year. In between she also jumped back into bouldering with victory in the prestigious Adidas Rockstars in Stuttgart, Germany.
A quick trip to China for Youth Worlds added yet another two World Championships to her name, making her a 6-time World Champion already.
A slip in finals at the last event in Kranj left her third on the podium and didn’t give her the perfect home crowd finish she was looking for, however Janja was undisputedly thecircuitclimbing.com’s pick for female competition climber of the year.