GB Team members Tara Hayes (19) and William Bosi (17) recently won Silver and Bronze respectively in the IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships in Guangzhou, China in the Junior category bouldering event. William also took Silver in the combined event, which involves all three lead, boulder and speed disciplines.
Tara and William now form part of an elite trio of British juniors who have medalled at World Youth Championship events, following Ed Hamer's 2nd place in the lead category in Imst in 2011 (UKC interview).
Tara had qualified strongly throughout the rounds and at one point was winning in the final following a quick top of the first problem, until US climber Margo Hayes topped all four boulders to take Gold. This was Tara's final event as a junior and a perfect end to the years of training and dedication alongside fitting in her studies at university. Tara told UKC:
'After all the months of hard training in the lead up to the World Youth Championships, making the final and finishing 2nd was unbelievable! I couldn't have hoped for a better way to finish the juniors and am now really excited to progress into seniors next year!'
Fresh from redpointing Hubble 9a just a few weeks ago (UKC interview), William was nonetheless surprised at his success. A regular international finalist, including a 4th place in Singapore in 2012, William's strong performance across all three disciplines meant another well-deserved moment on the podium. Commenting on his double medal achievement, William told UKC:
'I'm very happy, I really wasn't expecting a medal coming to China never mind two! This year just keeps getting better.'
Interest in the combined discipline competition appears to be growing within the GB teams. GB Lead Team Manager Ian Dunn congratulated the Lead team on their performances and gave a nod to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics:
'I left before the bouldering finals, but from a Lead perspective the five athletes who did lead all climbed really well. Everyone made semi finals (our minimum selection criteria) and everyone was just short of making the finals. Molly Thompson Smith by just a plus! William Bosi and Jim Pope were both extremely close in the Junior Boys and Emily Phillips and Kitty Morrison similarly in the B Girls. William getting a Silver in the combined bodes well for the future depending on the format of the Olympics and everyone should be congratulated on a fine team result.'
Amongst the notable winners was the talented American outdoor sport climber and boulderer Ashima Shiraishi, taking Gold in both lead and boulder for the second year running - likewise for Slovenia's Janja Garnbret. US climber Margo Hayes swept the floor with three Golds, in lead, boulder and the overall event and her compatriote Kai Lightner (former World Youth Champion in 2014) was 2nd in both lead and boulder. Elena Krasovskaia of Russia was crowned Combined World Youth Champion after qualifying for the finals in all three disciplines.