This year's British Lead and Speed Climbing Championships and a round of the Paraclimbing Cup took place at Awesome Walls, Sheffield last weekend. A new format for the event meant that all qualifiers were held on Saturday and finals for all categories took place on Sunday.
In the Lead categories, finals were held on the spectacularly overhanging central wall, with dynamic, crowd-pleasing swings through the steep roof section and bouldery finishes on the headwall. In the women's category, Molly Thompson-Smith - fresh from an outstanding performance at the IFSC World Championships in Paris, where she eventually placed 25th after qualifying in 11th - reigned supreme for yet another year, falling just short of the finishing hold and taking the Senior Female title for the fourth year in a row as well as winning the Junior Female category. Close behind was Belfast's Lucy Mitchell, once again climbing to second place with her trademark static strength and determination. Jen Wood and Ajda Remskar reached the same point on the climb, with Jen taking 3rd place on countback to qualifiers. Molly told UKC:
'I was really pleased to have an almost perfect competition round with two tops in qualifications and almost a top in the final, giving me the win! It was definitely a boost to see that my current form is pretty good and I'm looking forward to getting down to work between now and Youth Worlds in November. This was an especially nice win as it was my last junior BLCCs and one of my last British comps before I go travelling next year and take most of the season off.'
The men's event was hotly contested, this year even more so than usual with the return of Glaswegian powerhouse Jonathan Stocking. A podium-finisher at multiple international youth competitions, Jonathan took a break for a few years to focus on his career as a fireman. His return to the competition circuit last weekend saw him qualify in first place for the finals - proving that he's still got the knack for competitions. The male final saw reigning champion Jim Pope, former champion William Bosi and Jonathan battle it out for the top three places. Despite Jonathan's winning form on the previous day, he couldn't quite match Jim in the final, who fell reaching for the last hold, nor could he prevent William Bosi taking 2nd place for the second year in a row, and finished in 3rd. Jim also took home the Junior Male 1st place trophy.
In the speed event, Jen Wood beat last year's champion Flo Tilley in her first ever speed competition. Ajda Remškar finished in 3rd place. The Bosi brothers battled it out in the Men's final, but it was younger sibling William who knocked Alex into 2nd. Orrin Coley completed the podium in 3rd place.
In the Veteran category, Eddie Cooper and Vicky Askew took the men's and women's titles once again for 2016.
Some stand-out performances in the Juniors came from young Daniel Smith, Robin Casey, Hamish McArthur and Emily Phillips - all names to watch out for in the future.
IFSC Paraclimbing Cup
The second IFSC Paraclimbing Cup of the year was well-attended and attracted competitors from around the world and from as far afield as Canada and India. The GB Paraclimbing team came away with four medals and a 4th place, adding to Esme Harte's recent Bronze medal at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Paris.
The complete Paraclimbing Cup results are available on the IFSC website.
GB Paraclimbing Team results:
Male AL - Martin Heald - 4th
Female AL - Joanna Waterton - 3rd
Female AU - Isabella Walsh - 1st
Male AU - Matthew Phillips - 1st
Female RP - Hannah Baldwin - 1st
Junior BLCC categories
1. Molly Thompson-Smith 2. Flo Tilley 3. Abigail Morris
1. Jim Pope 2. William Bosi 3. Billy Ridal
1. Hannah Slaney 2. Rebecca Kinghorn 3. Jo Neame
1. Kieran Forrest 2. Aiden Dunne 3. Stan Harris
1. Emily Phillips 2. Kitty Morrison 3. Pippa Watkin
1. Hamish McArthur 2. James Bateman 3. Finley Wood
1. Robin Casey 2. Katherine McDougall 3. Emma Futcher
1. Daniel Smith 2. Josh Ibbertson 3. Joseph Xibberas
Senior BLCC categories
1. Molly Thompson-Smith 2. Lucy Mitchell 3. Jen Wood
1. Jim Pope 2. William Bosi 3. Jonathan Stocking
1. Vicky Askew 2. Phyllis Ryan
1. Eddie Cooper 2. Nigel Leeming 3. Simon Tilley
Full BLCC results here.
British Speed Climbing Championships
An increase in participation in the speed event was notable, following the announcement of the 'triathlon' format selected for incusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
1. Emily Phillips 2. Hannah Slaney 3. Kitty Morrison
1. Kieran Forrest 2. Severin Domela 3. Sammy Oakes
1. Jen Wood 2. Flo Tilley 3. Ajda Remškar
1. William Bosi 2. Alex Bosi 3. Orrin Coley
Full BSCC results here.