Two GB Medals in European Youth Boulder Championships

© Jan Schenk

GB Junior Climbing Team members Toby Roberts (14) and Max Milne (18) won Gold and Bronze respectively in the European Youth Championships (Boulder), held in Brixen, Italy last week. Louise Flockhart (15) also made her second international final and finished 6th.

Toby Roberts wins in Brixen.  © Jan Schenk
Toby Roberts wins in Brixen.
© Jan Schenk

Being at the lower end of the two-year age category bracket in his first year of IFSC international competitions, Toby's win is especially impressive. This achievement comes not long after a consistently strong performance across all three disciplines in the World Youth Championships in Arco, Italy this summer, where he placed 15th in Boulder, 6th in Lead, 41st in Speed and 9th in the Combined standings. Commenting on his success in Brixen, Toby told UKC:

'Semi finals went really well - I was one of only 2 people to top all 4 boulders and with fewer attempts I got into finals in 1st. I thought attempts would be important so was really psyched to flash the first problem although I couldn't get the coordination dyno on boulder 2 which I thought might have been topped, so this was frustrating. However, no-one else topped boulder 3, but I managed to flash it which put me in a good place. The GB coaches and climbers were all at the front of the wall to support and flashing the last problem to win was my best experience in a comp so far. It's great to know the training is paying off and I'm already psyched for next season.'

Toby on his way to 1st place in the final.  © @dimitri_mito
Toby on his way to 1st place in the final.
© @dimitri_mito

In 2015, Toby finished 2nd in the Youth Color Climbing Festival in Imst, Austria. He has also redpointed 8b with an ascent of Revelations at Raven Tor at the age of 11 (UKC news) and became the youngest person to redpoint Raindogs 8a at the age of 10 in 2015.

For Max Milne, the competition in Brixen marked the end of his junior career. After coming close to a podium spot - and possible victory - in the World Youth Championships in Arco this summer, Max had high expectations in Brixen. Although a frequent finalist and having regularly qualified in the top spot in earlier rounds of competitions, Max had never won an international medal. He told UKC:

'This event is definitely a milestone in my career. My first international medal! This achievement feels me with great pride, but I am not satisfied at all. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but in the nicest way possible I really don't want to be 3rd in Europe - I want to be the best! I think that's just my mentality and for sure is one of the biggest reasons why I am in the position I am to this day because of my work ethic and my attitude towards training.

Max Milne wins his first international medal.  © @dimitri_mito
Max Milne wins his first international medal.
© @dimitri_mito

'I really thought this was going to be my time to take the top spot after I won both qualification and the semi-final round. I went into the finals confident and ready to fight! But sadly this was not my time... this also happened to me at the World Youth Championships in Arco a few weeks back - after winning qualification and the semi-finals I failed to execute the performance I needed to take the win, narrowly missing out on the podium and finishing 4th place! I will go back to training and keep working on myself as an athlete and a person as I am determined to make an impact on the senior International stage next year!'

Max placed 4th in the senior British Bouldering Championships this summer.

Max Milne ends his junior career on a high.  © @dimitri_mito
Max Milne ends his junior career on a high.
© @dimitri_mito

Full GB Team Results:

Male Youth B

Toby Roberts – 1st

Zak Brown – 33rd

Female Youth B

Louise Flockhart – 6th

Gwen Morgan – 23rd

Matilda Collins – 35th

Tilly Vasic - 41st

Male Youth A

Tai Tewkesbury – 13th

Female Youth A

Marijke Booth – 31st

Katherine Macdougall – 34th

Male Junior

Max Milne – 3rd

Joseph Walmsley – 40th

Female Junior

Holly Toothill – 16th

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