Was the IFSC World Cup Lead Climbing competition an Olympic sneak peek?

Austrian climbers dominated both the men's and women's competition this past weekend, before a sold-out crowd at Movement Climbing + Fitness in Boulder for the 2011 International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) Lead Climbing World Cup. Many climbers -- and climbing fans -- hope this event was a preview of the 2020 Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, since sport climbing has been short-listed by the International Olympic Committee for possible inclusion as a medal event. Jakob Schubert of Austria won the men's competition -- his sixth consecutive victory on the 2011 World Cup circuit, including wins in France, Italy, China and Belgium -- beating out Sachi Amma (Japan) and Romain Desgranges (France). Boulder's Matty Hong, the only American climber to make the top-eight men's finals, finished in sixth place.

Johanna Ernst (Austria) won the women's competition, beating out Mina Markovic (Slovenia) and Momoka Oda (Japan). Sasha DiGiulian, from Alexandria, Virginia, was the only American climber to make the women's finals; she finished in seventh place.

"A great sport celebration and one of the hottest crowds on earth," reports IFSC president Marco Scolaris.

It was the first time since 1988 that the IFSC Lead World Cup had been held in the United States. USA Climbing, the sport's American Federation, is based in Boulder.

IFSC.tv has highlight reels from the speed and lead-climbing competitions online now.

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Colin Bane
Contact: Colin Bane