Climbing WM Bern: These are the favorites and hopefuls

For a total of 12 days in August, the international climbing scene will compete at the Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championships 2023 in Bern's Postfinance Arena. Which Swiss athletes are in pole position? And which climbers from abroad are hotly traded? An overview.

The news about the 2023 World Cup will be presented by Unparallel, Petzl and Bächli Bergsport

The crème de la crème of the international climbing scene meets at the Climbing World Championships in Bern. In the following article we will show you which athletes from Switzerland you need to know and which international top shots are among the favourites.

World Cup favorites: the overview

Hope bearers from Switzerland

International favourites

These are the bearers of hope from Switzerland

Sascha Lehmann

First place at the Lead World Cup 2023 in Innsbruck, second place in Koper, first place at the World Games in Birmingham. A look into the past gives rise to the hope that Sascha Lehmann will get a medal with the home field advantage of the 2023 World Cup.

Sascha Lehmann is the Swiss team's favorite. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC
Sascha Lehmann is the Swiss team's favorite. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC

It will only become clear on the day of the competition whether all factors will play together in August 2023. One thing is already certain: the native of Burgdorf is the favorite for the Swiss team, so the expectations of Lehmann are correspondingly high.

Andrea Kümin

closed at the end of 2021 Andrea Kümin completed her studies and from then on concentrated entirely on competition climbing. The decision has paid off. At the start of the 2022 season, the Zurich native achieved a brilliant result at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup. For the first time in her career, she made it to the finals of a World Cup and came in a sensational third.

But only a few days later came the disillusionment: injury break. Kümin was only able to compete in two more international competitions in the fall. She is currently in the middle of preparatory training for Bern, because the home world championship is also her big goal.

"If I stay injury-free and healthy, I'm optimistic. I'll do everything I can to achieve my personal best in August."

Andrea Kümin
Has already shown what she is capable of with the bronze medal at the Boulder World Cup in Meiringen 2022: Andrea Kümin. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC
Has already shown what she is capable of with the bronze medal at the Boulder World Cup in Meiringen 2022: Andrea Kümin. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC

Sofya Yokoyama

For around eight years Sofya Yokoyama Part of the elite Swiss national team and caused an upset by finishing fourth at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, USA. For the 24-year-old from Vaud it is clear: "I want to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris."

The World Championships in Bern is the most direct way to get an Olympic ticket. The three best athletes in the Bouldering & Lead discipline and the two best-placed in the Speed ​​discipline secure participation in the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

Sofya Yokoyama: "I want to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris." Image: Daniel Gajda/IFSC
Sofya Yokoyama: "I want to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris." Image: Daniel Gajda/IFSC

Petra Klingler

In the Swiss team, the 31-year-old undoubtedly has the most experience on the international competition stage. 2016 became Petra Klingler World champion in bouldering. In 2022 she represented Switzerland at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Has the most international competition experience in the Swiss team: Petra Klingler. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC
Has the most international competition experience in the Swiss team: Petra Klingler. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC

Whether she can build on her success in Paris 2016 in Bern is uncertain. One thing is certain, with names like Janja Garnbret, Natalia Grossman, Ai Mori and Co. there is a lot of competition.

Unparallel Souped Up:
Highly functional climbing shoe for bombproof toe hooks

The Souped Up by Unparallel is a highly functional climbing shoe with a strong downturn for maximum precision. The Souped Up has a two-part sole design and combines different rubber compounds. This construction ensures rigidity and precise power transmission. Are you ready for climbing?

Jonas Utelli

The Bernese Oberlander is one of the young hopefuls of the Swiss elite national team. Last season, the 19-year-old made the switch from the youth to the Swiss elite national team - and with success.

At the first competition in the adult category, at the Continental Cup in Arco, the versatile athlete won the silver medal and climbed into the top ten in the lead climbing discipline at the World Cup in Edinburgh. Appropriately ambitious starts Jonas Utelli in the current season:

"For me, the big goal of the season is to take part in the World Cup and to perform as well as possible in lead climbing at this major event."

Jonas Utelli

Liv Egli

What is with the gentlemen Jonas Utelli is Liv Egli in the women: the great Swiss hope. At the Continental Youth Cups 2022 in Imst and Ostermundigen, the 19-year-old from Hünibach confidently secured the gold medal and was again at the top of the podium at the Continental Youth Championships in the same year. At her lead World Cup premiere in Villars, she sensationally climbed into the semi-finals and finished 19th. The signs are good for Eglis to take part in the World Championships.

International favourites

Natalia Grossman

The Slovenian Janja Garnbret has been the undisputed favorite among the women for years. She wins what there is to win. The top field has been moving for two years.

Strong young athletes like the American Natalia Grossman challenge Garnbret and contest her gold medal. Grossman was on the podium at an international competition nine times last season - more than any other athlete, with the exception of Garnbret.

Natalia Grossman is considered an equal opponent of Janja Garnbret - and that's saying something. Image: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
Natalia Grossman is considered an equal opponent of Janja Garnbret - and that's saying something. Image: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Ai Mori

At the age of 19, the Japanese woman belongs Ai Mori one of the youngest athletes on the World Cup circuit - and despite her age, already one of the most successful. In 2022, after a long absence from competition, she took part in three Lead World Cups and always returned home with the gold medal.

Together with Natalia Grossman, she is like a kind of salvation for the competition, movement is finally coming back into play and at the end of the day it doesn't always say: "And the winner is Janja Garnbret."

Ai Mori
Despite her young age, Ai Mori has the potential to become world champion. Image: Lena Drapella/IFSC

Petzl Spirit:
Express set for the highest demands

The versatile Express Set Spirit from Petzl has excellent handling. A flattened gate simplifies rope hooking, while the rock-side gate is grooved for easier opening. The wide sling also allows a good grip on the exe. Is there a better quickdraw for sport climbing?

Adam Ondra

There is no way around the Czech Adam Ondra. For years he has been one of the strongest competitive climbers in the world in the disciplines of bouldering and lead climbing. He is also the only athlete to win both the Bouldering World Championship and the Lead World Championship in the same year. That was in 2014.

Ondra won further world championship titles at the World Championships in Paris 2016 and Hachioji 2019. There were also five silver medals and three bronze medals at world championships. Hardly any other athlete has a better chance of a podium finish than Ondra.

But the young talents are hot on his heels, as the Spaniard Alberto Ginés López impressively demonstrated at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo and the European Championships in Munich.

Adam Ondra is a multi-talent in terms of climbing technology and is therefore still a serious contender for the title at the World Championships in Bern. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC
Adam Ondra is a multi-talent in terms of climbing technology and is therefore still a serious contender for the title at the World Championships in Bern. Image: Jan Virt/IFSC

Alberto Gines Lopez

Tomoa Narasaki, Jakob Schubert and Adam Ondra. They were all considered the top favorites for the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, all forecasts put on the top shots, but nobody on the young Spanish talent Alberto Gines Lopez.

Even if the luck factor played into his hands in Tokyo, it cannot be denied that the 20-year-old shines time and time again at the really big competitions. Most recently at the 2022 European Championships in Munich, where he finished third in the combined format.

Seems to be able to handle the pressure of big competitions very well: Alberto Gínes Lopéz. Image: Daniel Gajda/IFSC
Seems to be able to handle the pressure of big competitions very well: Alberto Gínes Lopéz. Image: Daniel Gajda/IFSC

That might interest you

Content partner Climbing World Championship 2023

The coverage of the Climbing World Championships 2023 in Bern is presented by Unparallel, Petzl and Bächli Bergsport:

Maximum grip, well thought-out designs and "hand-made in California": The "Unparallel" brand not only impresses with many years of experience in the manufacture of climbing shoes, but also relies on a sustainable philosophy - as well as on a selection of rubber compounds developed in-house by long-term, local partners are processed exclusively.

Our company has been run for 50 years on the basis of four pillars: The stability of our family business, the promotion of the pioneering spirit for the development of first-class solutions, the guarantee of industrial excellence with a zero-defect goal and the close cooperation with the people of our communities, with with whom we share proven techniques for more security worldwide.

We love the mountains and live for the mountains. As the largest Swiss specialist for mountain sports, we offer a uniquely wide and high-quality range for all alpine sports. With us, thoroughbred mountaineers, mountain enthusiasts and beginners will find a wide range of equipment in our branches with main shop and outlet or online at the fairest price.

Do you like our climbing magazine? When we launched LACRUX, we decided not to introduce a payment barrier. It will stay that way, because we want to provide as many like-minded people with news from the climbing scene.

In order to be more independent of advertising revenue in the future and to provide you with even more and better content, we need your support.

Therefore: Help and support our magazine with a small contribution. Naturally you benefit multiple times. How? You will find out here.

Don't miss anything - receive our newsletter

* Indicates required
Interests

+ + +

Credits: Cover picture Leo Zhukov/IFSC

News

Edelrid Pinch: New belay device with blocking function and direct belt integration

The Pinch from Edelrid is the first safety device on the market that can be hooked into the central ring of the climbing harness without a carabiner.
00:39:02

Crack in the Magic Wood | Municipality and IG Magic Wood in dispute

The waves are rising in the Magic Wood. We met the mayor and the president of IG Magic Wood for a discussion.

Raboutou in front of Seo and McNeice | Results Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai

With one foot in Paris: At the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai, Brooke Raboutou wins ahead of Chaehyun Seo and Erin McNeice.

Lee, Ginés López and Ondra on the podium | Results Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai

Olympic Qualifier Series Part 1: Dohyun Lee, Alberto Ginés and Adam Ondra climb onto the podium in Shanghai.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter now and stay up to date.

Edelrid Pinch: New belay device with blocking function and direct belt integration

The Pinch from Edelrid is the first safety device on the market that can be hooked into the central ring of the climbing harness without a carabiner.
00:39:02

Crack in the Magic Wood | Municipality and IG Magic Wood in dispute

The waves are rising in the Magic Wood. We met the mayor and the president of IG Magic Wood for a discussion.

Raboutou in front of Seo and McNeice | Results Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai

With one foot in Paris: At the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai, Brooke Raboutou wins ahead of Chaehyun Seo and Erin McNeice.