GB Climbing shows strong at IFSC Youth World Championships

Posted by Peter Burnside on 30/08/2023
Rafe Stokes wins GB Climbing's first Youth World Championships speed medal. Photo: IFSC / Dimitris Tosidis

Boulder, Lead, and Speed – the GB Climbing youth athletes did us proud with tops, hops and our first ever Youth World Championships GB Speed medal.

After the exhilarating Senior World Champs in Bern, Switzerland, it was time for our younger athletes to take their turn as the GB Climbing youth team embarked on the beginning of their World Championships journey in Seoul, Korea.

Lead

The IFSC Youth World Championships began with its first qualifiers in Lead for U16 Male and U18 Male and Female. The team got off to a strong start, with two members advancing to the semi-finals, while others finished just a few places away from qualification. A tough semi-final round meant that, despite putting in sterling efforts, our two athletes Lucy Garlick and Tom Steele didn’t quite make it through to finals, finishing in 16th and 15th places, respectively.

Jamie Jenkins and Erin McNeice represented in the Junior U20 category – Jenkins’s top efforts saw him just make it through to the semi-final, where he capitalised on making it into semis and came out even stronger than before, finishing in 17th. Meanwhile McNeice’s impressive performance saw her making it through to semi-finals also where she finished in 15th place.

Boulder

Apocalyptic weather forecasts and extremely humid conditions continued to hamper the competition, and frustratingly the Speed round was impacted by several delays. But we were excited to watch the Boulder athletes, where three of the five competing in qualifiers made it through to climb again in semi-finals. Particular shout outs to Luca Martins and Izzy Edgington who both had their best performances this season, with Edgington making round progression to the semis and Martins only narrowly missing out.

While the rain continued to torrent down, the Youth A semi-finals took place behind a curtain in a bid to keep everyone dry. Conditions were incredibly challenging, but despite them Lucy Garlick performed brilliantly to earn a place in her third consecutive Youth World Championships Boulder final!

Rhys Conlon and Izzy Edgington were also in action in the morning’s semi-finals and came 15th and 17th respectively, producing a great overall display of climbing skill and strength of character.

Later that day, Lucy Garlick climbed again in the final and dug deep to finish in style, topping the last boulder and securing 5th position, a fantastic result.

The Juniors (U20) then took their turn on the mats, where Erin McNeice and Emma Edwards, both made it comfortably through to the semi-finals in 8th and 14th place. Louise Flockhart and Jamie Jenkins had tougher rounds as they battled the heat, unfortunately they both dropped the top move on a boulder that if held, would have put them into semis.

The semi-finals took place the following morning in stifling conditions as the heat soared higher than the walls. Both McNeice and Edwards battled hard on super tough blocs, finishing in 16th and 15th place respectively.

Speed

When Junior speed athletes finally got a chance to race after many delays, Andrew Goodall produced another stoic performance in qualifying, adapting to the challenging conditions amazingly well to get through to his second finals in a row. Unfortunately, a major slip at the first move with no chance of recovery curtailed his competition this time.

Saveena Fillingham wanted more but also fell victim to a slick wall, especially apparent on her second run. A valiant effort in challenging circumstances.

When the Youth A speed athletes raced we saw Ava Hamilton and Kishan Fillingham making their first appearance. In sticky conditions, Fillingham had two solid runs, narrowly missing out on finals in 18th place. Hamilton was super consistent in her runs, doing just enough to make the Youth A female speed finals where she placed 16th.

And let’s not forget, we were so excited to witness the first ever Youth World Championships GB Speed medal! Rafe Stokes demonstrated he was the man to be beat after the first round of qualifications. He kept it clean all the way to the semi-finals until finally the wall bit back and he slipped. His recovery was immediate though and, despite the slip, he was only 0.1s off from the big final! He then brought it home in the small final, beating last year’s Youth World Champ to win Bronze.

WATCH: The replays of the semi-finals, finals on YouTube

RESULTS: IFSC Youth World Championships 2023

Lead

Junior U20M
Jamie Jenkins 17th - Precision Climbing
 
Junior U20F
Erin McNeice 15th - Lattice
 
Youth A U18M⁠
Rhys Conlon 29th⁠ - New Age Climbing
Sam Hammond 31st⁠ - New Age Climbing
 
Youth A U18F
Lucy Garlick 16th - White Spider 
Anya Hmaimou 35th - New Age and Henning Muller
 
Youth B U16M
Tom Steele 15th - White Spider
 
Youth B U16F
Fae MacDougall 17th - Precision Climbing
Connie Bridgens 18th - New Age Climbing
 
Boulder
 
Junior U20F
Emma Edwards 15th - Depot Youth Academy
Erin McNeice 16th - Lattice
Louise Flockhart 29th - North Coaching
 
Junior U20M
Jamie Jenkins 36th - Precision Climbing
 
Youth A U18F
Lucy Garlick 5th - White Spider 
Isabella Edgington 17th - White Spider
Izzy Bridgens 34th - New Age Climbing
 
Youth A U18M
Rhys Conlon 15th - New Age Climbing
Luca Martins 22nd - Mile End Climbing Wall
 
Youth B U16F
Fae MacDougall 17th - Precision Climbing
Connie Bridgens 19th - New Age Climbing
Izzy Rinaldi 29th - White Spider
 
Youth B U16M
Tom Steele 22nd - White Spider
Max Dalton 23rd - Depot Academy
Oliver Knox-Renshaw 28th - Depot Academy
 
Speed
 
Junior U20M
🥉 Rafe Stokes 3rd - Team Texas
Andrew Goodall 14th
 
Junior U20F
Saveena Fillingham 21st
 
Youth A U18M
Kishan Fillingham 18th
 
Youth A U18F
Ava Hamilton 16th - Precision Climbing
 
 

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