Olypmics 2020: Christopher Cosser


© Eddie Fowke

Johannesburg, South Africa
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IFSC World Cup Wins Podiums
Speed 0PB: 6.831s 0
Boulder 0 0
Lead 0 0
View IFSC profile
  • IFSC Africa Continental Championship - Gold








Christopher Cosser (RSA) Age: 20

Chris Cosser lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He started climbing in 2012 when a friend bought him a climbing film (Progression) for his birthday. 'I remember watching the film and knowing I needed to try this sport myself!' he says. Cosser managed to find a small school wall and was fortunate to be allowed to climb there as he knew the Head of Sport personally. Progressing in competitions in a country where the discipline is not valued has been tricky for Cosser. 'In South Africa the only point of climbing indoors was to train for outdoors,' he says. 'Only in 2019 did my focus change and I decided to spend more energy on the competition scene. Competition climbing has never been seen as a viable aspect of climbing in South Africa.'

In 2018, Cosser spent six months off climbing while recovering from two growth plate finger injuries. He has competed at junior level in World Youth Championship events, where he placed 14th in Combined in Arco in 2019. In the same year, he joined the senior circuit and competed in six IFSC World Cups across all three disciplines, his best result being a 57th in Speed in the Villars round. Currently, the climbing scene is so small in Africa that there are no professional climbers earning a living from the sport, making training for and travel to international events difficult. On rock, Cosser has climbed 8b+. He currently holds the African Speed record of 6.87 seconds. 









Qualification route

IFSC Africa Continental Championship

Postponements piled on the pressure and stress for the African hopefuls, who had to wait until December 2020 for their chance to qualify, 16 months after the first athletes earned their tickets. The win in Cape Town came down to the wire, with Cosser battling it out against his teammate Chris Naude, who was leading following the Speed and Boulder rounds. Cosser topped the final route to take the win in Lead, with just two points separating the pair.


In just 8 years of climbing, Cosser has broken two fingers and a heel.

UKC prediction

Cosser's speed PB of 6.87 seconds is relatively fast and ranks him 12th out of the 20 qualified men, judging by our PB data. That puts him just behind Nathaniel Coleman and ahead of Sean McColl. Given that Cosser's preferred discipline is Lead, it's possible that he could continue to improve and beat some Speed specialists in the Lead round and bump his ranking up. A 15th-20th place ranking is most likely, given Cosser's lack of IFSC competition experience compared to the rest of the field, but more importantly the Games will be a chance to push himself and showcase African climbing on a global stage.

© Eddie Fowke
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