|IFSC World Cup||Wins||Podiums|
Shauna Coxsey (GBR) Age: 28
Shauna Coxsey discovered climbing at the age of 4 while sitting on her dad’s knee watching a TV programme about Catherine Destivelle climbing in Mali. “I want to do that!” she proclaimed. A promising start in youth Lead events – before junior IFSC Boulder events existed – gave Coxsey valuable competition experience. Due to Britain’s strong heritage in Boulder World Cups and Coxsey’s preference and talent for the discipline, it was inevitable that she would transition to senior level by specialising in Boulder alone. Since her first World Cup win in Grindelwald in 2014, Coxsey has won the overall Boulder World Cup twice in both 2016 and 2017.
Although she has struggled with multiple injuries during her career, Coxsey has an enviable ability to come back stronger than before – which she proved once again in the 2019 Hachioji World Championships, when she returned following shoulder surgery and limited competition participation in 2018 to take 3rd place and with it an Olympic spot. Coxsey’s mental fortitude and cool-headedness in high-stakes situations has often placed her a cut above the rest. With only three Lead World Cups under her belt but one final and two semi-final finishes, Coxsey has an aptitude for Lead helped by her youth competition experience, but lacks the track record or mileage of some of her fellow contenders.
Hachioji World Championships (3rd place)
Despite suffering from a cold in the days leading up to the event, Coxsey made Combined finals and guaranteed herself an Olympic quota place. In qualification, she won the Boulder round and entered finals in 1st place. An unexpected 2nd place in Speed – with a Personal Best of 9.141 seconds – in the final helped secure a Bronze medal overall.
In recognition of her contributions to climbing, Coxsey was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in 2016.
Given her ability to perform under pressure in Boulder, we expect Coxsey to rank highly in this round and make finals. Additionally, her mental strength is an important asset in Speed, which perhaps played to her advantage in Hachioji. Coxsey is currently recovering from some minor surgeries, but we don't expect these to hold her back - perhaps the one-year delay has been a blessing in this regard. Her relative "weaknesses" compared to others in Lead and Speed might not earn her a podium spot, but we estimate she’ll finish just outside in 4th place. That said, never underestimate the return of Shauna Coxsey following injury!
2021 update: Coxsey's back pain has lingered and affected her preparation. Following the IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, Coxsey announced that she will retire post-Tokyo. A finals spot might be possible given her mental strength and experience on the big stage.