The GB Paraclimbing Team has just returned from Briançon, France, where they picked up two Silver medals and one Bronze in the Paraclimbing Cup. Mikey Cleverdon and Hannah Baldwin placed 2nd and Isabella Walsh finished 3rd in their respective categories.
Hannah and Isabella were both in the women's RP2 group and Mikey in the men's RP3. Both Mikey and Hannah topped all of their routes in the event and were just 6 seconds away from a win in the final when they tied with another climber in each of their groups.
The team were climbing under the watchful eye of GB Paraclimbing coaches Belinda Fuller and Robin O'Leary.
Belinda told UKC:
"The team are in great shape at the moment and it was exciting to see them put on an incredible show during the first round on the IFSC World Cup. We have been working on all aspects of their performance over the last few months with an emphasis on the psychology and nutrition areas to create a rounded performance. There is always room for improvement but we are extremely happy with the way the team are climbing and their positive attitude towards training and comps. Bring on the next Paraclimbing Cup round in Edinburgh!"
'It would be great for more people to attend the national paraclimbing competitions - the first one starts on 9th September at EICA Ratho, Edinburgh. We desperately need more exposure to fill the categories for the Paraclimbing Cup events and one day paraclimbing may make it into the Olympics!'
Mikey Cleverdon commented on the event:
'For me, it's a massive honour to be part of the GB team and to take part in this event series. Of course, I can't speak for every category but the routes were really fun and pretty well set overall. Being the last competitor out of the night was really exhilarating too; I'd not experienced that before in a big comp and I'm still buzzing from the adrenaline of the whole thing. I was only gutted not to have the opportunity to watch all the other categories in the final. Prior to the stroke in 2011, I was really keen on competing and wanted to try and reach the GB boulder team selections, but this has given me the opportunity to have ago and compete on an international level with some really strong athletes - something I'm extremely grateful for. With the result of this competition, I'm even more psyched to train for round 2!'
This was the second successful event for the team so far this season, as Hannah Baldwin won the women's RP2 group in the Paraclimbing Master in Imst, Austria earlier in July, and Joanna Waterton took Gold in the women's Al-2 category. Isabella Walsh placed 2nd in the women's AU-2 group.
GB Team Results
Mikey Cleverdon 2nd (RP3)
Hannah Baldwin 2nd (RP2)
Isabella Walsh 3rd (RP2)
Dave Bowes 4th (RP3)
Phillip Mitchell 4th (AL-2)
Josh Senior 14th (AL-2)
Martin Heald 8th (AL-2)
John Churcher 7th (Visual Impairment B2)
For information on paraclimbing categories, see pages 82/83 of this document.