It’s been a busy few weeks for GB Climbing athletes with many finalists and several medals won across four separate competitions in Europe. Here’s the breakdown:
Continental Youth Cups
The last two weekends we’ve enjoyed watching all the action in the first two competitions of the Continental Youth Cups (European Youth Cups), with a Lead Cup in St. Pierre en Faucigny, France, on 24-25 June, and Lead and Speed Cups in Imst, Austria on 30 June - 2 July.
In St. Pierre we saw fabulous efforts in Youth A from Sam Hammond, who made his first final at his first ever international competition, and from Rhys Conlon who took the bronze medal.
The following weekend we saw the action move to Imst where Rhys Conlon again took bronze, Sam Hammond again made the final, and history was made when Andy Goodall took the gold medal in Speed, the first Speed medal to be won by any British athlete ever.
In total in Imst, we saw six GB Climbing athletes make finals across four categories – Rhys Conlon, Sam Hammond, Fae MacDougall, Connie Bridgens (first ever final), Iggy Rinaldi (her first International competition also), and Tom Steele.
Paraclimbing Lead World Cup, Villars
In the very last IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup of the 2023 season, we saw some epic efforts from the team of GB Climbing athletes in Villars, Switzerland on 23-24 June.
Continuing her streak of wins, Abbie Robinson took first place in Women B3 which brings her hoard up to nine gold medals in total. Meanwhile Martha Evans won the silver medal in Women RP3 and special mention goes to Luke Jamieson who made his first finals in Men RP1.
Abbie Robinson gold medal 1st Women B3
Martha Evans silver medal 2nd Women RP3
Luke Jamieson 6th Men RP1
James Rudge 5th Men AU2
Lucy Keyworth 9th Women RP1
Lead World Cup, Villars
For the second Lead World Cup of the season attention turned to Villars on 30 June - 2 July where a squad of GB Climbing athletes had arrived. Battling cloudy conditions for the qualification round, our team did us proud and two athletes made it through to finals, Molly Thompson-Smith and Toby Roberts.
Despite struggling with food poisoning all night after qualifiers, Molly Thompson-Smith managed to give as much as she could to earn another impressive 9th place. Just one spot out of finals, Molly remained positive about the result when commenting on her Instagram that: “I know the shape and resilience is there, and of course the next chance is only a week away!”
Meanwhile, Toby Roberts continued his run of good form and fought his way up the semi-final route all the way through to finals where he came in an amazing 4th place against some of the biggest legends of the sport like Jakob Schubert, Adam Ondra, and Alex Megos, who all made up the podium. On his Instagram, Toby said: “After a shaky start in Innsbruck it feels incredible to be back in the finals and so close to the podium. I feel like I’m still learning a lot with every round and there’s still a lot to improve on – can’t wait for the upcoming training / comps.”
4th Toby Roberts
14th Hamish McArthur
38th Jim Pope
38th Joseph Xiberras
60th Max Milne
9th Molly Thompson-Smith
38th Erin McNeice
48th Zoë Peetermans
Speed World Cup, Villars
The fourth Speed World Cup of the 2023 season took place in Villars, Switzerland, on 2 July. After a shaky few practice runs, where an auto belay malfunction impacted the concentration of the Speed athletes, Rafe Stokes and Matt Fall managed to keep it together and post some impressive times in the qualification round with Rafe posting another sub-six second time and Matt hitting sub-seven seconds.
44th Rafe Stokes 5.843 seconds
59th Matt Fall 6.41 seconds
Next action for the Lead and Speed athletes will be at the Chamonix Lead and Speed World Cup on 7-9 July.
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