History made by GB Climbing athletes at IFSC World Championships

Posted by Peter Burnside on 12/08/2023
Toby at the Boulder & Lead final of the IFSC World Championships 2023. Photo: IFSC / Lena Drapella

Exceptional performances and many a bright future for GB climbers after a phenomenal 12 days of action at the IFSC World Championships, where a huge squad of GB Climbing and GB Paraclimbing athletes competed.

Toby Roberts came incredibly close to qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games after competing in the Boulder & Lead final, the first male British athlete to compete in such an event. Unfortunately a few mistakes cost him dearly and he ended up in 5th place.

Molly Thompson-Smith made finals of the Lead event, the first British woman to do so, and was just four spots away from making the final of the Boulder & Lead combined Olympic format event.

Meanwhile the GB Paraclimbing Team won four medals after seven athletes qualified for finals. Abbie Robinson took her fourth World Champion title and her 10th gold medal, Richard Slocock won silver, and Martha Evans and Lux Losey Sail both won bronze.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is currently considering Paraclimbing to potentially be included in the Paralympic programme in Los Angeles 2028. We should find out the results of this decision in October.

This event was the first of the Olympic qualification events, with more quota spots available from the IFSC continental championship events and the invitational Olympic Qualifier Series.

Lorraine Brown, Head of Performance for GB Climbing, operating under the BMC (British Mountaineering Council), said:

“All the athletes of the GB Climbing and GB Paraclimbing teams have performed magnificently.

“We witnessed inspirational performances from Toby throughout these world championships, and he should be so proud of his progression to the Boulder & Lead final and earning 5th place.

“Molly Thompson-Smith made history as the first British female athlete to reach a Lead World Championship final, and Abbie Robinson secured her fourth World Champion title and her 10th gold medal, an astounding achievement.

“The bar of what is expected from elite competition climbing athletes is always being raised. It’s thanks to all the hard work from the GB athletes, their home coaches, GB coaches and all the staff from GB Climbing and the BMC, that we are able to develop environments that athletes thrive in, pushing the level by British competition climbers year on year.”


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