Gold for Hannah Slaney at her last IFSC Bouldering Youth World Championships

Posted by Peter Burnside on 13/08/2018
Hannah Slaney becomes World Youth Bouldering Champion 2018. Photo: IFSC / Eddie Fowke

Hannah Slaney rose to the top of the first Bouldering podium in Moscow, Russia, at her very last IFSC Youth World Championships – an amazing end to her youth career. We caught her on the podium to see what she thought about her win.

The IFSC Youth World Championships kicked off on 9 August for eight days of competitions in Bouldering, Lead and Speed, to see who of the nearly 700 young athletes from 43 countries would be crowned Youth World Champion in their respective disciplines.

In the Junior Bouldering category, representing Great Britain was BMC National Development Squad member Hannah Slaney who had qualified for finals with two tops and four zones in the semi-finals. BMC National Development Squad members Jo Neame and Gwyneth Uttley also put in strong performances but were unable to make it through the qualification round.

Strong competition was expected in finals from Slovenian and Japanese athletes, as well as Combined World Champion and Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 qualified athlete Elena Krasovskaia of Russia. These athletes were all gunning for gold and made for a fierce and incredibly close battle in Moscow over the weekend.

Hannah took the lead on the tiny screw-ons of F2 by flashing the problem, but the other finalists were nipping at her heels. A tricky friction-dependent problem on F3 saw most achieve the zone but not the top, leaving it down to F4 to decide the podium. Hannah kept her cool to score the zone giving her a final total of four zones and three tops – two of them flashes – to seal her victory in and earn her the title of Bouldering Youth World Champion in her last competition as a youth athlete. Here's what she had to say:

Hannah, congratulations on your win, how does it feel to call yourself Junior Bouldering Youth World Champion? 

It’s amazing! So unexpected and a perfect end to my junior career.

It’s the world stage, so quite pressured. How did you cope in isolation before each problem?
At the time, I was just focusing on the task in hand, having fun and enjoying myself.

How will you celebrate your victory?
Holiday and then onwards and upwards in the Senior GB Climbing Team!

Zoe Spriggins, BMC competitions programme manager, said: “The depth of our BMC National Development Squad is fantastic and it really bodes well for the future of GB Climbing. Everyone has done so well: we’ve seen athletes reach the semi-finals here in Moscow in each category – Junior, Youth A and B, male and female – and to achieve a Junior Bouldering Youth World Champion in the run up to the Olympics is extremely exciting. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future developments in this area will be!

“At this competition, being around over 40 other nations and seeing their climbers in action, the warm up routines, and the team support, has been inspiring and has given me loads of ideas to bring back to the UK. The Russian Federation has done a fantastic job, the setting has been amazing and the venue and staff are fantastic. I’m excited to see what the remaining days of competition bring!”


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HIGHLIGHTS: 2019 La Sportiva British Bouldering Championships


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