McNeice, McArthur, and Thompson-Smith Qualify for Paris 2024 in Budapest

Posted by Team BMC on 24/06/2024
Erin, Hamish and Molly qualify for Paris 2024. Photo: Sam Pratt

The culmination of the Olympic Qualifying Series in Budapest saw GB Climbing athletes Erin McNeice, Hamish McArthur, and Molly Thompson-Smith qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics Games.

Their qualification sees the three athletes join GB Climbing teammate Toby Roberts, who qualified for the Games in October 2023. The only previous athlete to compete in Sport Climbing at the Olympics was Team GB’s Shauna Coxsey, who placed 10th at Tokyo 2020. 

After making the podium in the opening Qualifying Series round in Shanghai last month, all eyes were on emerging talent Erin McNeice. The 20-year-old had a steady start to the Budapest leg of the competition, finishing 16th in the Boulder phase of qualification on Thursday. She improved round-by-round, finishing the semi-finals in 5th place, and stepped-up again in the finals taking her second international podium with another bronze medal. McNeice qualifies for Paris 2024 after coming in 3rd place overall. 

When asked about her performance in Budapest, Erin Mcneice, said: “Today was pretty indescribable. To qualify for an Olympic ticket felt incredible and to get my second podium made it even more special. I can’t wait to compete at the Paris Olympics, and I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with my teammates and the coaches.”

Rachel Carr, GB Climbing Head of Delegation and McNeice’s coach, said: “This round was bit more challenging for Erin with the heat forced us to do a lot of adapting but she managed to keep the faith in her ability and continuity demonstrate that she is in fact a fully-fledged combined athlete.  

“[The competition has had] its ups and downs but getting another bronze as well as qualifying for an Olympic quota has been a dream come true for us all!” 

Joining McNeice in the women's competition is 26-year-old Molly Thompson-Smith, an athlete who has faced a difficult journey to qualify for Paris. After breaking her ankle in 2022 and narrowly missing out on qualification for Tokyo 2020, Thompson-Smith's story finally has a golden ending with a golden qualification ticket to the upcoming Games after finishing 1th in the Series. 

Thompson-Smith’s coach, Ellie Glennie of Precision Climbing, said: “Molly overcame significant challenges to qualify for the Olympics, including training on one foot for the majority of last year whilst recovering from her broken ankle. 

“For me, her standout moment was flashing bloc 4 in the Bouldering qualifiers. Despite a tough journey, she climbed the semi-final lead route with strength and calm, making a dream come true on a day that felt just right.” 

Hamish McArthur rounds out the team, having qualified for the second male quota place alongside Toby Roberts. The 22-year-old narrowly missed-out on the finals in Budapest to finish 10th. Combined with his 7th place from the first leg of the Series in Shanghai, this put him in 9th overall. 

On his qualification for Paris 2024, GB Climbing and Precision Climbing athlete Hamish McArthur said via social media: "I have qualified for my spot at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. I will try to do it all with grace." 

McArthur’s coach, Mark Glennie of Precision Climbing, said: “I’m over the moon for Hamish. These past few years have been incredible, working towards a goal with tiny odds of success. On the day, he had to battle through some physical issues after the Boulder round and showed outstanding grit and determination to perform so well in the Lead. Seeing him qualify for an Olympic spot is a dream come true, and I can’t wait to see what he can do next in Paris!” 

Paul Ratcliffe, Chief Executive of the BMC said: “Earning a quota place for the Olympic Games is a tall order with such tough global competition. It takes a huge amount of dedication, perseverance and commitment over many years.  

 “Congratulations to all the athletes and to all the parents, coaches and partners involved in supporting them. 

 “The BMC started in 1944 to represent all climbers in Britain and we will be proud in our 80th Year to represent these incredible climbers to be nominated to Team GB for the Paris Olympic Games.” 

Jon Garside, Acting Head of Performance at GB Climbing, said: “The Olympic Qualifying Series has been a formidable competition, and we’ve been very thankful to have had an incredible support network of coaches, parents, Parthian Wall and the GB Climbing staff team. The qualification news today is a testament not only to our athletes' talent but to the work that goes on behind the scenes on a daily basis. 

“Throughout this qualification period, our team has shown they have the skills and talent to reach the pinnacle event in sport climbing. As an organisation, we’re ever so proud of the commitment they have shown, and I also congratulate Max, Jack, and Jim for their dedication and sportsmanship through the 2024 season. While they did not qualify on this occasion, all athletes have so much potential, and the BMC looks forward to supporting them on their next steps. 

“I speak on behalf of us all when I say that we look forward to seeing Erin, Molly, Toby, and Hamish represent Great Britain and climb on the walls of Le Bourget Sport Climbing venue in six week’s time.” 

Final Olympic Qualifier Standings: 

Women’s

Erin McNeice – 3rd  

Molly Thompson-Smith – 13th  

Women’s Boulder & Lead Budapest results can be found here 
Olympic Qualifier Series results can be found here

Men’s

Hamish McArthur – 9th 

Max Milne – 30th  

Jack MacDougall – 32nd  

Jim Pope – 33rd  

Men’s Boulder & Lead Budapest results can be found here 
Olympic Qualifier Series results can be found here

 

 



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