Bronze for Hamish McArthur at his first Senior World Champs

Posted by Peter Burnside on 22/09/2021
Hamish, the only athlete to top the semi-final route. Photo: Dimitris Tosidis / IFSC

Hamish McArthur takes home the bronze medal at his first Senior World Championships after becoming the double World Champ in the Junior Boulder and Lead in the same year.

It’s been one of the best GB Climbing performances at a senior IFSC World Championships that we have ever witnessed with multiple athletes making semi-finals, many more coming incredibly close, and of course watching Hamish McArthur competing amidst the world’s best for his second IFSC Lead World Champion title of the year.  

After a stunning performance at the IFSC Youth World Championships in August, where Hamish McArthur became a double World Champion climbing to the top of the podium in the Junior category for both Boulder and Lead, and the silver medalist in the Combined category, Hamish has been back on the mats but this time competing in the IFSC Senior World Championships.


Molly Thompson-Smith in the World Championship Lead semi-finals. Photo: Dimitris Tosidis / IFSC

It was amazing to see three GB Climbing athletes compete in the men’s Boulder World Championship semi-final. In recent times having three semi-finalists, is a significant result given the disrupted two years, and a huge testament to all the athletes who have trained hard to come ready to compete against the rest of the world.

All three athletes Billy Ridal, Nathan Phillips, and Hamish McArthur did a phenomenal job battling a powerful set of problems. The try-hard and creativity they brought to the boulders made it such a palm-sweating and exciting round to watch.

Hamish narrowly missed out on a place in the Boulder finals and came in 7th place despite gaining the same score of two tops and three zones as three of the finalists, but due to having had more attempts fell just shy. While teammates Billy Ridal and Nathan Phillips came in 14th and 18th place, respectively.  

In the Women’s Lead World Championships, Molly Thompson-Smith only just missed out on the lead final. GB Climbing made multiple appeals but unfortunately the decision did not swing in Molly’s favour.

However, in the Men’s Lead semi-final Hamish grabbed the attention of all spectators when he powered his way to the top of the testing route and was the only athlete to clip the chains among an incredibly strong field of some of the world's very best Lead climbers. Going into the final, Hamish was leading the way.

All eyes were on Hamish last night as he walked out last to the wall and in just a few exhilarating seconds he came within a hair's breadth of latching the final hold at the top of the route in a way that had the rest of the GB Climbing Team, and everyone watching at home, on tenterhooks. With a route that came down to the last few moves deciding last place from first, Hamish came away with a sturdy third place and a final that he won't be forgetting in a long time. Amazing performance Hamish! ⁠


L-R Luka POTOCAR of Slovenia, Jakob SCHUBERT of Austria, Hamish McARTHUR of Great Britain. Photo: Jan Virt / IFSC

He handled all pressure of a World Championship as well as his first senior Lead final so well and pulled out a standout performance that will mark his climbing career. ⁠

Tom Greenall, GB Climbing Head Coach: 

“The World Championships has given real form to our team’s commitment and determination. In a year fraught with uncertainty due to the global pandemic, it’s profound how important it has been for our journey and trajectory to come here and show what talent we truly have.”

RESULTS: IFSC Senior World Championship

Women’s Boulder:

Holly Toothill, 21st
Jennifer Wood, 33rd
Molly Thompson-Smith, 39th
Tara Hayes, 47th

Men’s Boulder:

Hamish McArthur, 7th
Billy Ridal, 14th
Nathan Philips, 18th
Alex Waterhouse, 31st
Maximillian Milne, 39th

Women’s Lead:

Molly Thompson-Smith, 11th

Men’s Lead:

Hamish McArthur, 3rd
Will Bosi, 11th
Billy Ridal, 26th
Jim Pope, 35th
Max Milne, 38th


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