Arco played host to the World Youth Climbing Championships in all three IFSC disciplines across a two week event in Italy's 'home of climbing'.
In today's report GB Junior Bouldering Team manager Tom Greenall reports on a how the GB climbers fared at the very first World Youth Bouldering Championships. Tomorrow we will have a report from Ian Dunn (GB Junior Lead Team manager) on how the lead and speed climbers got on.
Team manager/coach Tom Greenall reports:
Our team of 15 athletes took on some of the biggest names in the game on the biggest stage of the season. The bouldering competition was fierce as international head setter Jackie Godoffe placed the bar high in both qualifiers and semi finals. Solid performances from Tara Hayes, Aidan Roberts, Hamish Pokotar and Eugenie Lee earned them all semi final spots and a fantastic ranking in the World Top 20.
Eugenie Lee delivered an outstanding personal best in Youth B as she joined international mega star Ashima Shiraishi for the second round. The 15 year old from London was thrilled to compete alongside some of the best in the business.
"It was great to compete in the first World Youth Championships and come out with my best international result."
Fresh from his European Gold Medal success, Aidan Roberts was the second GB athlete to go in the semi finals. The Cumbrian has had a busy few weeks climbing both Font 8B and French 8c in addition to his busy competition schedule. The high standard forced some creative setting from Godoffe with Aidan being one of only three athletes to top Bloc 1.
"I came to the competition with very few expectations as no one had any idea of the standard. It was great to be competing in the first ever bouldering world champs though I feel disappointed with my result as I dropped problems in the semi finals which I know I should have topped. Despite this, it was an amazing event in a beautiful place and a lot of fun!"
In the Junior Female category Tara Hayes, who recently placed 16th at a Senior World Cup in Munich, climbed superbly to finish the highest ranked of all the GB athletes in the semi finals. Tara has been a bit of a household name on the national circuit for the past few years and showed her experience with an excellent tactical display.
"It was an amazing experience to compete at the first ever World Champs for bouldering. I am so pleased to have come 10th in a field which includes multiple senior World Cup finalists."
Hamish Pokotar, the fourth of the semi final quartet, ended his season with yet another strong performance. The Worlds marked Hamish's final competition as a Junior before he moves into the senior category for 2016. The Bristolian has had an oustanding junior career with highlights including a European silver medal which he won only a few weeks ago.
"While this competition marked an ending for me, it was really nice to take part in something completely new and unknown not only personally but for team as a whole. It's been a privilege to have been involved with a team always pioneering new territory, and it was great to take the next step and have the opportunity to compete against the best athletes from all over the world."
Team Manager and Coach Tom Greenall reflected on what has been a tough but rewarding season for our GB Junior Boulderers.
"This season has been incredible. The journey has been one both the athletes and coaching team have learnt much from. While we are growing in strength internationally, the Worlds demonstrated to all the European nations the standard of talent which is out there worldwide. We now move forward both motivated and purposeful in the areas where we have room to improve and I am excited for a dedicated winter for Team GB".
Tara Hayes - 10th
Molly Thompson Smith - 34th
Hamish Pokotar - 20th
Billy Ridal - 27th
Alex Waterhouse - 33rd
Youth A Female
Alexia Basch - 41st
Hannah Slaney - 29th
Silvia Barratt - 35th
Youth A Male
Aidan Roberts - 11th
Luke Murphy - 50th
Ed Mabon - 69th
Youth B Female
Eugenie Lee - 20th
Youth B Male
Max Milne - 26th
Nathan Whaley - 25th
Jack Ramsden - 47th
Tune in tomorrow to hear the Junior lead and speed climbers got on.
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