Toby Roberts qualifies for Paris 2024 with Laval win

Posted by Katy Shilladay on 29/10/2023
Jan Virt, IFSC

GB Climbing’s Toby Roberts rounded off a formidable season with a victory at the 2023 European Boulder and Lead Olympic Qualifier event.

This historic victory sees 18-years-old Roberts secure the first male Olympic quota place in Sport Climbing for Great Britain. Roberts will be the second GB athlete to compete in the climbing competition at the Olympics following Shauna Coxsey who placed 10th at Tokyo 2020.

Roberts had a tough start in the Boulder final, missing the top on his first problem. A small wobble on his first attempt at M2 caused him to come off the wall before he topped out on attempt two. Roberts found his form on M3 as he became the third athlete to top the problem on their first go. He finished the Boulder round in second on 69.8, 15-points behind leader Sam Avezou climbing in front of his home crowd.

In the Lead final, Roberts showcased his exceptional skills by finishing the round with a flawless score of 100, the only athlete to do so. The teenager from Surrey finished the competition with a combined score of 169.8.

After his medal-winning performance, Toby Roberts said: “This is going to take a while to sink in. Climbing on these routes felt incredible. I’ve been training for so long for this, it means so much.

“Having come so close in Bern, I came into this competition with a clear head and enjoyed every boulder and every route.

“My favourite place to be is fighting hard on the wall, the last jump was the cherry on the top.

“My dad and my family are such are huge part of this process, and they’re such a massive support system. I am hugely thankful to my parents. It’s a real team effort.”

Lorraine Brown, Head of Performance at GB Climbing, said: “Toby is a formidable talent and has rightly earned his Olympic quota spot after some fantastic performances over the 2023 season.

“He has already shown the skills to reach the podium on the world stage, and his gold medal today comes off the back of two World Cup series wins during the 2023 season. 

“We all look forward to seeing Toby climb on the walls of Le Bourget Sport Climbing venue in just 10 months’ time. The gold medal for Roberts comes off the back of two World Cup wins during the 2023 season.”

Toby Roberts has joined Jakob Schubert (AUT), Colin Duffy (USA), Tomoa Narasaki (JPN), and Jesse Grupper (USA) who have already qualitied for the Men's Boulder & Lead competition at Paris 2024.

The road to Paris continues for the wider GB Climbing squad.

Full results can be found here. Click here to view all qualified athletes for Paris 2024.

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Very Nice blog
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