IFSC World Youth Championships

The IFSC World Youth Championships are on now! Tune in to the IFSC you tube channel to catch all the semi final and finals action as athletes from across Australia compete against the worlds best youth athletes. The championships are running from 22 – 31 August, 2019 in Arco, Italy.

Australia has once again sent a large team with 24 members representing the green and gold:

Junior
Annabelle Cleary
Abby Manning
Ned Middlehurst
Sam Lavender
Ryan Sklenica
Jesse Ruffini
Callum Banks
 

Youth A
Jordyn Damasco
Ella Easton
Leah Jeffries
Maxim Pare
Angus Simpson
Aaron Matted
Oliver Burch
Finn McCallum-Packham
Mathew Austin

Youth B
Angie Scarth-Johnson
Ellisa Andres
Mia Weeda
Ashley Brooks
Joshua Mennell
Hugo Hornshaw
Marley Farquharson
Leyroy Harley

With a smaller than usual Victorian representation the three Victorians are set to compete later this week.  Ned Middlehurst will compete in boulder and speed while Mathew Austin and Oliver Burch will be competing in the speed event. Make sure you get behind them and cheer them on from home!

It was exciting to see NSW athlete Angie Scarth-Johnson reach semi-finals earlier this week.  Scarth-Johnson put in a fantastic effort finishing 10th overall – missing finals by a mere 2 places.  With results like these Scarth-Johnson is a contender to keep an eye on.

Good luck to all the athletes!

IFSC World Championships 2019

The 2019 IFSC World Championships were held earlier this month over a mammoth 11 days from 11 – 21 August, 2019 in Hachioji, Japan.  As this was an Olympic selection event, more than just the podiums were on the line.  The top 7 from the combined event would receive a provisional invite to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to represent their country.

Competitors stamina was put to the ultimate test as they competed in all disciplines with minimal rest days in between.  For the top 20 athletes there was a total of 7 climbing days of the 11 day event.  Meanwhile, spectators were introduced to the Olympic format and what to expect at Tokyo 2020.

Australia sent a large team with 12 athletes representing their country.  Congratulations to all our athletes: Ben Abel, Grace Crowley, Alexander Cvetkovski, Anna Davey, Thomas Farrell, Campbell Harrison, Sam Lavender, Oceana Mackenzie, Tiffany Melius, Tom O’Halloran, Roxy Perry and Lucy Stirling.

For full results, click here.

Our three Victorian athletes Grace Crowley, Campbell Harrison and Oceana Mackenzie all had an excellent competition.  On the speed wall Crowley set a new PB of 12.24seconds as her training continues to drive her results.  Mackenzie also performed on the speed wall setting the new Australian Female record of 9.12seconds.

For the combined format, which included Harrison and Mackenzie, the Victorians performed superbly.  Harrison placed 60th overall and Mackenzie placed 29th overall – only nine places from making the combined qualifications – making them the highest ranked Australian athletes.

During the combined event, tensions were high as controversy happened throughout the competition.  There were two instances where athletes stepped on bolts in the lead event, ultimately leading to Adam Ondra not making it through to finals. There was further controversy as the judging was appealed over Janja Garnbret’s score, which in the end was denied and her score remained unchanged. Then Alexander Megos had to leave the competition early, injuring his finger on the first boulder problem of finals.

For full combined results, click here.

The home Japanese team came prepared having four athletes in the finals for both male and female categories.  Due to the Olympic qualification rules that state only two athletes from each country will receive an invitation to the Olympics, two additional athletes outside of the top 7 were offered a place meaning athletes down to 9th place were offered a provisional place.

To view the athletes who have provisionally received an Olympic invitation, click here.

This was just the first of a series of qualifying events leading up to Tokyo 2020 with the next event set to occur from 28 November – 1 December 2019 in Toulouse France.  This event will see the 6 highest placed athletes per gender offered a place if they haven’t already qualified and they are within maximum quota’s.

For Australia, the next event to qualify after this will be the Oceania Championships held in the first half of 2020 in Sydney, NSW.

To view the qualification system and events, click here.

If you would like to sponsor one of our athletes please get in contact with us at contact@sportclimbingvictoria.com.au.

International Competitions – July and August

Lead

The international lead season started earlier this month with the usual Victorian suspects representing Australia.  Campbell Harrison started his campaign in Villars, Switzerland from 4-6 July, followed by Chamonix, France a week later from 11-13 July and finally in Briançon, France from 19-20 July.  Oceana Mackenzie joined Harrison in France at both the Chamonix and Briançon events.

Both athletes have demonstrated tremendous improvements over recent years with their continued efforts towards Tokyo 2020. Harrison placed 62nd in Villars, 59th in Chamonix and completed the campaign coming 37th in Briançon narrowly missing semi-finals by just one move.  Mackenzie came 53rd in Chamonix and 49th in Briançon.

Both athletes will continue training in Japan ahead of the World Championships as they prepare to make their Olympic dreams come true.

If you wish to sponsor these athletes ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games please contact us at contact@sportclimbingvictoria.com.au

 

What’s coming up next?

In August, two of the biggest climbing events of the year will happen with the IFSC World Championships for the adults in Japan from 11-21 August, 2019 and the Youth World Championships for the junior athletes from 22-31 August, 2019 in Arco, Italy.

Representing Australia from Victoria at the World Championships will be:

  • Grace Crowley – Speed
  • Campbell Harrison – All disciplines
  • Oceana Mackenzie – All disciplines
  • Ned Middlehurst – All disciplines

And at the Youth World Championships:

  • Matt Austin – Youth A Speed
  • Oliver Burch – Youth A Speed
  • Ned Middlehurst – Junior Speed and Boulder

To see the full Australian team for the Youth World Championships, click here.
To see the full Australian team for the World Championships, click here.

Good luck to all the competitors in their respective World Championships and a special mention to Ned Middlehurst who is competing in both events, one directly after the other.

State Bouldering Season 2019

The Australian state bouldering season has begun with the WA State Bouldering Titles held from 20-21 July, 2019.  Victoria was represented by Daniel Humphreys who was the only Victorian athlete to compete.  Humphreys competed in both Juniors and Open A coming 3rd  and 24th  respectively.

For full results, click here.

There will be a breather of state level competitions in August while the World Championships and the Youth World Championships are being held to allow international competitors to compete in their respective state titles.

The state bouldering season will continue in September with the following competitions lined up:

  • 7-8 September – NSW/ACT State Boulder Titles
  • 14-15 September – QLD State Boulder Titles
  • 21 September – Victorian State Boulder Titles
  • 27-28 September – Tasmanian State Boulder Titles

Watch this space for all competition results and to see how your favourite competitors are doing.

Speed Records Continue to Crumble

In the last month there has been a spree of world cup competitions including two speed competitions in which our very own Oceana Mackenzie, Grace Crowley and Campbell Harrison competed in.

First stop was Villars, Switzerland held from 4-6 July, 2019 followed by Chamonix, France a week later from 11-13 July, 2019.

Crowley and Harrison have continued to improve getting faster with each competition with Harrison setting a new personal best on the international speed route.

Mackenzie has continued to impress on the international stage beating her own record and setting the new Australian female speed record of 9.532seconds.  The male record was also reset by NSW climber Ben Abel who ran a time of 8.567seconds narrowly beating Victorian Ned Middlehurst who previously held the record.

We will continue to see speed records being smashed as Australian climbers prepare for the Olympic Games scheduled for Tokyo 2020.  Climbing hopefuls will need to compete in all three disciplines (boulder, speed, lead) in the games which has lead to an increase of competitors competing in speed.

Good luck to all those with the Olympic dream!

If you wish to sponsor a Victorian athlete ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games please contact us at contact@sportclimbingvictoria.com.au .

Coaching on the National Stage – Sarah McKenzie

After the recent Australian Youth Championships held from 24 – 26 May, 2019 at SICG Villawood NSW, Sport Climbing Victoria asked Victorian State Coach Sarah McKenzie how the coaches and athletes prepare and execute on the National stage:

To prepare for Youth Nationals, our Victorian athletes participated in a 2 day training camp prior to the event. The first day was bouldering held at Northside Boulders Northcote followed by speed held at Gravity Worx. The athletes participated under mock competition training conditions and completed reflections in order to prepare themselves for Nationals.

Athletes also participated in a Q and A session for physio competition preparation, run by physiotherapist Katie Kaminsky. For the speed portion of the day athletes practiced and refined their runs. On the next day, lead was held at North Walls in which another mock competition and reflections session occurred.

On the first day of Nationals we had lead for the Youth C and D categories and boulder for the Youth B, A and Junior categories. Athletes prepared by participating in team meetings and reading their routes with the coaches. Although there were some technical difficulties, the athletes kept focused on their climbs and performed amazingly.

On the second day Youth C and D competed in bouldering while the Youth B, A and Junior categories competed in Lead. Athletes performed amazingly on some incredible routes and challenging boulders. The end of a competition day would involve reflecting with the athletes on their performance and their mental attitude.

The final day was speed in which a majority of the athletes were more relaxed with the bulk of the competition being over. Exhausted as many were, they gave some incredible performances.

At the end of it all, Deryl Ng (Victorian Assistant Coach) and I could not be more proud of the athletes and their perseverance.

– Sarah McKenzie, Victorian State Coach

To view full results from Youth Nationals, click here.

Speed Climbing in Victoria

Victoria is home to some ‘Speedy Climbers.’  Both Oceana Mackenzie and Ned Middlehurst have set some recent Australian records with their speed times in IFSC international competitions.  Where do they go to get so speedy?

Lead and speed gym Gravity Worx has Victoria’s only speed wall, which serves as a key feature for our Victorian speed athletes who compete nationally and internationally.  While there is usually only one speed wall up for training purposes (with IFSC sanctioned holds), for the second year, Gravity Worx hosted the Victorian State Speed Titles on Saturday 11 May, 2019.  Rock Hardware sponsored the event providing some excellent prizes for competitors.

For full results, click here.

The Gravity Worx speed wall is the only wall in Australia equivalent to the angle and height of an internationally certified speed wall, and is a hub for state and national speed training. Gravity Worx hosts Team Aus training camps, open training camps, and camps specifically for local youth athletes.  Recently, Gravity Worx donated half of the funds raised at a recent youth speed training back to Sport Climbing Victoria so that we can continue to offer training camps to our youth and open members.

– Karen Powell, SCV Board Member

2019 Australian Youth National Championships

Over a massive three days, youth climbers across Australia flocked to NSW to compete in the Youth National Championships from the 24 – 26 May, 2019. Victoria sent a large team to compete at the elite level with all categories represented.

All three disciplines were showcased including Lead, Speed and Boulder and a combined result calculated for those who competed in all three disciplines.

Congratulations to all the Victorian competitors who made the podium:

Combined

  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Matthew Austin, 3rd, Youth A Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female
  • Zoe Puglisi, 3rd, Youth C Female

Boulder

  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female

Lead

  • Ned Middlehurst, 3rd, Junior Male
  • Maya Stasiuk, 1st, Youth C Female
  • Jaime Wong, 3rd, Youth D Female

Speed

  • Ned Middlehurst, 1st, Junior Male
  • Alana Frankland, 2nd, Junior Female
  • Oliver Burch, 2nd, Youth A Male
  • Matthew Austin, 3rd, Youth A Male
  • Sora Asahara, 1st, Youth C Male
  • Zoe Puglisi, 1st, Youth C Female

We would also like to say a massive thank you to our Coach Sarah McKenzie and Assistant Coach Deryl Ng for making the trip up to NSW and coaching our youth competitors, to Ned Middlehurst as Team Captain and to all the volunteers that helped out!

Congratulations to all those athletes who competed over the weekend!

For full Boulder results, click here.

For full Lead results, click here.

For full Speed results, click here.

For full Combined results, click here.

Photos by Jason Wong

Victorian Russell Harrison Heads to New Zealand

Paraclimbing has been seen at numerous state and national climbing competitions in Australia for a number of years now, but in 2019, Sport Climbing Australia selected a Paraclimbing team for international competition for the first time. Three athletes are heading to Briançon, France to represent Australia at the IFSC World Paraclimbing Championships in July: Eddie Sparks, Marc Altmann and myself.

On the 18-19 May, I competed at the Climbing New Zealand National Championships in Auckland. The format was two qualification rounds and an onsight final, all climbed on top rope. With only four paraclimbers competing, I was guaranteed to have three routes to climb. The other competitors in the category consisted of a marathon running ice climber, a Paralympian and a climber that finished one spot off the podium at last year’s Paraclimbing World Championships in Innsbruck.

After viewing the forerunning videos, I went through my warm up which seemed to add to my nervousness. I was climbing second on the first qualification route and watched the first climber top. As I tied in and pulled onto the wall, I began to feel a little more at ease with each move. I climbed the bottom section easily but fell off a small crimp a few holds from the top. Although a little disappointed, my climbing felt controlled and efficient.

Qualification 2 saw me climb last and I watched 2 of the 3 climbers before me top the route. This route consisted of a difficult traverse across a steep wall and then up into a hard sequence as the wall angle tapered off for the last few moves to the top. I again climbed reasonably well until I lost my feet as I tried to move into the final section. I fought hard to regain an effective position but was unable to recover and fell.

The final looked to be a few grades harder and finished on what seemed from the ground to be a very thin horizontal edge. It was going to be a very difficult finish for anyone who managed to get there. Second out, I fell a dozen moves in as I threw my left hand up trying to latch a small jug. I didn’t hit the hold cleanly and slipped off. My finish was a long way from the eventual high point and the final route remained un-topped. But, with two climbers getting within a couple of holds from the top, I think the setters got it right with the final they set.

Overall, I had a really great time and am looking forward to my next two competitions, the Imst (Austria) Paraclimbing Masters and the Paraclimbing World Championships in Briançon during July. I’d like to sincerely thank Sport Climbing Victoria, Sport Climbing Australia and Climbing New Zealand for their support of adaptive sports and paraclimbing.

 

– Russell Harrison, Australian Paraclimbing Team Member