This weekend, over 50 of Europe's finest sport climbers will gather in Laval, France, for the highly anticipated IFSC European Qualifier Laval 2023, with one common goal: securing a spot in the Paris 2024 Olympics.
With only two quota places available, one for men and one for women, this event boasts the smallest number of spots in the entire qualification process, setting the stage for an intense competition.
The competition promises to be a thrilling clash, featuring seasoned veterans facing off against the promising stars of tomorrow. As we prepare for an action-packed weekend of competition, here's everything you need to know.
Among the top contenders is GB Climbing's teen prodigy, Toby Roberts, who has set his sights on securing the men's quota spot. Roberts has enjoyed a highly successful season, clinching two World Cup stage victories, one in Boulder at Brixen and another in Lead at Chamonix.
After an impressive performance at the World Championships in Bern, Precision Climbing athlete, Jack MacDougall, is determined to continue his successful season. The 2023 British Bouldering Men's Champion led the way for the GB athletes, finishing 16th in the Men's individual Boulder competition in Bern.
In the women's competition, keep an eye on Erin McNeice (Lattice Training). Finishing in 35th in the Boulder & Lead competition in Bern, McNeice, an up and coming athlete, is keen to gain more experience in the 2024 Olympic format.
Tom Greenall, Head Coach for GB Climbing, run by the BMC, said: “Building on some brilliant results this season, we’re fielding a small but strong team for this European Lead and Boulder Olympic Qualifier. The focus for the team is to gain experience in this competition format.
“This event marks the second opportunity for GB Climbing athletes to secure their place in Paris 2024 in the Olympic qualification period. We put on a respectful performance at the IFSC World Championships out in Bern, so I hope those impressive results give our athletes confidence as we transition to the 2024 season and continue our campaign to Paris 2024.”
Toby Roberts, GB Climbing athlete, said: "Securing a quota place in Laval would mark the culmination of a truly remarkable season. Representing Great Britain at the Paris 2024 Olympics is a significant personal goal of mine. This event provides the perfect opportunity to gain insights into the requirements for next season, with an eye on winning medals."
The IFSC European Qualifier Laval 2023 is scheduled to take place from October 26 - 29 at the Espace Mayenne Arena in Lavel, France. The action kicks off with the Women's qualification round at 8:00 am on Thursday 26 Ocotber, followed by the Men's competition starting on Friday 27 Ocotber.
For a detailed event schedule, please click here.
For results, please click here.
You can follow the event on GB Climbing's social channels or watch it live on the Olympic YouTube channel.
For more information and updates, please visit the official event website at www.europeanqualifierlaval2023.com/en