Three Golds in Paraclimbing World Championships for Team GB

© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

At the Innsbruck 2018 Paraclimbing World Championships this week, Team GB came away with three World Champions and one Silver and one Bronze medal. GB Paraclimbing Team coach Robin O'Leary sent us the following report...

Over the last two years, all of the GB Paraclimbing Team's hard work - individual and team training sessions, World Cups and Master events - has been in the run up to this event: the 2018 World Championships.

Hannah Baldwin takes Gold and Anita Aggarwal Bronze in the women's RP2 category.  © Sytse van Slooten/IFSC
Hannah Baldwin takes Gold and Anita Aggarwal Bronze in the women's RP2 category.
© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

Each athlete has been imagining the moment when they step out onto the stage in front of a welcoming and supportive Innsbruck crowd. They've been mentally preparing to step off the floor and make that first move with butterflies in their stomach. That moment has been and gone and I can proudly say that we are incredibly happy with the results!

Innsbruck put on a brilliant competition, with excellent and exciting routes for the para-athletes. Very contemporary, volume based routes with dynamic moves for every category – helping with the nerves and adding to the adrenaline. This event has seen a record number of athletes participate. Many World Cup events over the last few years have seen almost a guaranteed medal. This event is very different with strong competition in every category. It is fantastic to see the sport grow and the level raise to an impressive standard.

Mikey Cleverdon wins Silver in the men's RP3 category.  © Sytse van Slooten/IFSC
Mikey Cleverdon wins Silver in the men's RP3 category.
© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

The qualifiers were set over two days at the industry-leading Kletterzentrum Innsbruck. Every athlete put in a valiant performance with some missing out on the finals by the smallest of margins (a move). Peculiar equations are used to rank the athletes (the square root of rank x rank), but this left us with five athletes going through to finals.

Mikey Cleverdon through in 2nd place in the RP3 category
Hannah Baldwin in 1st place in RP2
Anita Aggarwal in 3rd place in RP2
Abbie Robinson in 1st place in B2
Matt Phillips in 1st place in AU2

Matthew Phillips: World Champion.  © Sytse van Slooten/IFSC
Matthew Phillips: World Champion.
© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

The finals were held over two days. Hannah put in an almost flawless performance, hitting the top hold but not quite latching it, to secure her position on the top of the podium – World Champion! Anita put in a great fight to maintain her 3rd position too. Abbie was in cruise control – climbing effortlessly in front of an eerily quiet crowd. She topped and secured her place as our second World Champion of the event. Mikey Cleverdon was the final GB climber to set off. A good high point had been set by the previous competitors on a tough 8b final route. Mikey did everything he possibly could and climbed with confidence and style – just missing out on the top spot, but proudly bringing home another medal - this time a silver.

After a hugely successful Thursday finals for the GB Para Team, Friday saw Matthew Phillips' chance to get onto the podium. After a flawless qualifying round, being the only athlete in his category to top both routes, Matthew was quietly confident going into the finals. Matt was calm in isolation and his warm up routine was perfectly executed. The crowd was growing, since following on from Matt's category was the final for the women's bouldering World Championships.

Abbie Robinson: Women's World Champion in the B2 category.  © Sytse van Slooten/IFSC
Abbie Robinson: Women's World Champion in the B2 category.
© Sytse van Slooten/IFSC

The American athlete Trevor Smith, who qualified in second position, fell off touching the final hold, so Matt had to top. He came out onto the stage, acknowledged the crowd and followed his routine. He set off in a good pace, breezed through the crux and confidently popped for the final hold with his right arm. He secured the final hold and matched to the delight of the crowd as they erupted in celebration and admiration.

Another GB World Champion!

It has been a very successful World Championships for Team GB. For now, it's back to training and preparing for the nationals.

Information on Paraclimbing classifications and categories can be found here.
If you are interested in getting involved with para-climbing, please get in touch with your local climbing wall to see how they can support you.


MEN visual impairment B1

Rank Name Nation Final
1 Koichiro Kobayashi JPN 35+
2 Matteo Stefani ITA 25+
3 Francisco Javier Aguilar Amoedo ESP 22
5 Daniil Lisichenko RUS
6 Masahito Maeoka JPN
7 Jesse Dufton GBR
7 Roman Kostiakov RUS
9 Bill Casson USA
10 Roland Köchl AUT
11 William Lowary USA
Full results

MEN visual impairment B2

Rank Name Nation Final
1 Justin Salas USA 27
2 Raul Simon Franco ESP 24+
3 Fumiya Hamanoue JPN 22
4 Simone Salvagnin ITA 19+
5 Giulio Cevenini ITA
6 John Churcher GBR
7 Razvan Nedu ROU
7 Richard Slocock GBR
9 Florin Alin Ana ROU
10 Hans Ewald Grill AUT
Full results

WOMEN visual impairment B2

Rank Name Nation Final
1 Abigail Robinson GBR 43
2 Whiteny Pesek USA 36+
3 Tanja Glusic SLO 36
4 Yumi Ejiri JPN 33
5 Edith Scheinecker AUT
6 Hiromi Aoki JPN
7 Mandi Curtis USA
7 Esha Mehta USA
9 Chelsea Cook USA
Full results

1. Qualification MEN AL-1 (seating)

Rank Name Nation Final
Carlos Quiles USA
Lorenzo Major ITA
Hideyuki OUCHI JPN
Daniel Kontsch AUT
Angelino Zeller AUT
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Lucie Jarrige FRA 35+
2 Kate Sawford CAN 30
3 Emily Stephenson USA 27
4 Savannah Shanton USA 19
5 Joanna Newton GBR
6 Emily Gray RSA
7 Jaqueline Fritz GER
8 Rebecca Levenberg USA
9 Jessica Sporte USA
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Thierry Delarue FRA 43+
2 Urko Carmona Barandiaran ESP 36+
3 Albert Guardia Ferrer ESP 24
4 Frederik Leys BEL 24
5 Julien Gasc FRA
6 Martin Heald GBR
7 Colin Torpey USA
8 Thomas Meier GER
9 Jake Sanchez USA
10 Matan Berman ISR
11 Josh Senior GBR
12 Phillip Kaminski USA
13 Algimantas Valaitis LTU
Full results

WOMEN AU-2 (Forearm Amputee)

Rank Name Nation Final
1 Solenne PIRET FRA 44
2 Melinda Vigh HUN 43+
3 Maureen Beck USA 33
4 Lucia Capovilla ITA 33
5 Isabella Walsh GBR
6 Molly Ferris USA
7 Caitlin Pereiras USA
8 Kaitlin Heatherly USA
Full results

MEN AU-2 (Forearm Amputee)

Rank Name Nation Final
1 Matthew Phillips GBR Top
2 Trevor Smith USA 45+
3 Maksim Maiorov RUS 34
4 Pablo Blanco Barrios ESP 30
5 Mees Vooijs NED
6 Markus Hofbauer AUT
7 Ismael Ewan Sánchez Mcilroy ESP
8 Andreas Band GER
8 Ilgam Makhmutov RUS
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Alessio Cornamusini ITA 38+
2 Korbinian Franck GER 30+
3 Nils Helsper GER 24
4 Florian Singer GER 20
5 Roy Lemke CAN
6 Sebastian Depke GER
8 Adam Payne USA
9 Angelino Zeller AUT
10 Fedde Benedictus NED
11 Hideyuki OUCHI JPN
12 Daniel Kontsch AUT
13 Lorenzo Major ITA
14 Carlos Quiles USA
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Hannah Baldwin GBR 44+
2 Marlene Prat FRA 37+
3 Anita Aggarwal GBR 33.5+
4 Rachel Carter NZL 24+
5 Jasmin Plank AUT
6 Sandra Pollak AUT
7 Pavitra Vandenhoven BEL
8 Brittany Rae Davis USA
8 Eliana Wallack USA
10 Renske Nugter NED
11 Bonnie Denis USA
12 Carlie Cook USA
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Behnam Khalaji IRI Top
2 Nive Porat ISR 39+
3 Manikandan Kumar IND 30+
4 András Szijártó HUN 29+
5 Philipp Hrozek GER 27
6 Nimrod Mugzach ISR 25+
7 Mor Michael Sapir ISR
8 Jared Lenahan USA
9 Daniel Wiener AUT
10 Benjamin Mayforth USA
11 Bostian Halas AUT
12 Bastien Thomas FRA
13 Keith Warrick USA
14 Ryan Juguan USA
15 Michael Füchsle GER
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Aika Yoshida JPN Top
2 Momoko YOSHIDA JPN 35+
3 Elodie Orbaen BEL 34+
4 Tiziana Paolini ITA 30+
5 Jillian Bukoski USA
5 Jasmine Raskas USA
7 Tatiana Crenshaw USA
Full results


Rank Name Nation Final
1 Romain Pagnoux FRA 36+
2 Michael Cleverdon GBR 28+
3 Gregor Selak SLO 28+
4 Alessandro Neri ITA 22+
5 Dave Bowes GBR
5 Juan Pipo Gil Blanco ESP
7 Peter Kunze GER
8 Scott Baird USA
9 Scott Blackburn USA
10 Yaniv Aga ISR
Full results


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15 Sep, 2018

Congrats to all the medalists and the whole team. I see them train as a team at oakwood often and it is nothing short of inspiring, you guys work hard for this! Congratulations to robyn and belinda, the coaches, such talented coaches 

15 Sep, 2018

Go Mikey, you hero! Nice one mate :)

17 Sep, 2018

Not wanting to detract from their achievements, a very well done to all!

However with these articles it would be really helpful to the reader to include a table or something outlining what the various categories actually mean to put their achievements in context. The link provided isn't particularly helpful as it links to the full rules for the competition which doesn't make for easy reading.

I know that these athletes shouldn't be defined by their disabilities, but they also shouldn't be shied away from and it shouldn't be something people are afraid to talk about.

I think if the reader can understand what the different categories are when reading an article like this then it adds some context to the athlete's achievements and makes them seem all the more impressive.

17 Sep, 2018

Isn't that why UKC linked to this?

Anyway, fantastic results from the UK team.

Edit... having looked at the document in more detail its the full rules so I think the IFSC needs to split it up and take it off a pdf and put it on web linked contents. Hence, I agree UKC could usefully do an article on the categories; maybe talking them through with some of the recent champions and medalists.

17 Sep, 2018

What a fantastic achievement for these individuals and for GB.


A follow up article(s) us a great idea.


We all know climbing is challenging at the best of times, imagine what it took for these people to reach the bottom of these climbs, let alone pull on.




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