|IFSC World Cup||Wins||Podiums|
Viktoriia Meshkova (RUS) Age: 20
If you’d never heard of Russia’s Viktoriia Meshkova before December's European Championships, that would come as no surprise. Indeed, her only real international performance of note was a 4th place finish in Lead at a World Youth Championships, again in her home country of Russia, and a 2nd place in the European Youth Bouldering Championships that same year.
If, however, as a fan of the sport you’ve been following athlete development by watching domestic competitions, you will have seen Viktoriia steadily improving in Russian events.
IFSC European Continental Championships: 1st place
After an interrupted build up to the European Continental Championships, Viktoriia found herself in lockdown with only a training plan from Russian legend Dmitrii Sharafutdinov to keep her company. That training program clearly paid dividends as Viktoriia stepped into the arena in Moscow in the form of her life. In the space of a week Viktoriia became first European Bouldering champion, then Lead Champion, and lastly but most importantly the European Combined Champion, securing her an Olympic berth.
When we said above that Viktoriia had been isolated in the training phase leading up to the European Championships, we meant so in the most literal sense. Five weeks before the event Viktoriia had tested positive for COVID-19 and she was forced to self-isolate in her apartment.
We believe the lack of experience in finals climbing will have an impact on Viktoriia’s performance in Tokyo. Although she has shown excellent form in Moscow and performed fantastically under the tutelage of Dmitrii Sharafutdinov, we have yet to see a strong performance from her at a truly world class senior event.
We expect Viktoriia to miss the cut to finals and settle into the placings just outside the top ten. Our prediction is 13th.