Three World Cups, Two Bronze medals for GB Climbing

Posted by Peter Burnside on 30/05/2023
Toby Roberts wins Bronze in Salt Lake City. Photo: IFSC

Recently GB Climbing athletes travelled to Salt Lake City USA and competed in a Paraclimbing World Cup, a Boulder World Cup, and a Speed World Cup. There were some incredible performances that resulted in two Bronze medals and a historical first.

Over the week commencing 15 May 2023, Salt Lake City USA played host to three IFSC World Cups, including its first ever Paraclimbing World Cup. GB Climbing athletes were representing in force and put in sterling performances across the board despite the high pressure of competing on the international stage. First up for the week was the Paraclimbing World Cup.

IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup | 16-17 May

To kick start the week of World Cups, Salt Lake City welcomed the opening event of the IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup Series 2023 and the Los Angeles Olympic Committee were in attendance to finalise decisions on Paraclimbing’s inclusion in the Los Angeles Olympic Games 2028.

New GB Paraclimbing Team member Luke Jamieson competed in his first ever World Cup, and he was joined by teammates Richard Slocock, James Rudge, and team coach Jamie Vardy. Despite a few oddities, including having his category merged, Richard set the tone for the week by winning a Bronze medal in the B3 category. Congrats Richard!

IFSC Boulder World Cup | 19-21 May

Next up was the Boulder World Cup where GB Climbing athletes were competing in abundance. Holly Toothill and Molly Thompson-Smith made their season debut alongside teammate Erin McNeice, and they all came painstakingly close to qualifying for semi-finals. It was especially inspiring to watch Molly make a phenomenal comeback to the circuit, matching her best Boulder World Cup result, after spending the winter recovering from an ankle injury.

In the men’s round, Jim Pope, Max Milne, Jack MacDougall all performed brilliantly but fell short of moving to the next round. Toby Roberts continued his semi-final streak and was joined by Hamish McArthur, but floating through to his first Boulder World Cup finals, Toby blazed through the final blocs to finish in third place earning himself a bronze medal. Toby’s bronze makes him the first ever British athlete to win a medal in both a Boulder World Cup and a Lead World Cup.

Toby said: “To win a medal at my 3rd Boulder World Cup feels unbelievable – it has been an amazing week. I felt like I learnt a lot in Hachioji and Seoul and I was hoping to improve on those performances – I definitely felt like I did that. Tomoa Narasaki is someone I’ve followed for years – I remember watching him win a World Cup on TV at home when I was about 12. To stand next to him on the podium was surreal.”

Speed World Cup | 21 May

Concluding this round of World Cups in Salt Lake City we turned our gaze to the Speed wall, where GB Climbing athlete Rafe Stokes was out representing alone. Last month, Rafe set the bar incredibly high after breaking the GB Speed Record and achieving his best senior result in Seoul, South Korea.

Rafe was unable to repeat his time in Seoul, but he did post another sub-six second time on the clock during the competition showing it wasn’t just a fluke. Consistency is key in Speed and we’re excited to see his next result.

Full Results

Men
3rd: Toby Roberts
20th: Hamish McArthur
29th: Max Milne
39th: Jack MacDougall
53rd: Jim Pope

Women
27th: Erin McNeice
29th: Holly Toothill
31st: Molly Thompson-Smith

Speed
39th: Rafe Stokes


Para
3rd: Richard Slocock (B2)
9th: Luke Jamieson (RP1)
8th: James Rudge (AU2)

Next stop for the GB Climbing Team: Prague, Czech Republic on 2-4 June for a Boulder World Cup.


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