Central Saanich, BC – Competition is underway, as over 250 athletes took their first qualifying run up the wall in the Lead Climbing category Friday at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) 2013 World Youth Climbing Championships that are taking place at the Boulders Climbing Gym in Central Saanich.

Provisional leaders in all categories are summarized below:

Youth A Female
In the Female Youth A category, three climbers sit tied for first, having reached the top of their qualifying route. This includes Julia Chanourdie of France, Jessica Pilz of Austria and Anak Verhoven of Belgium. Top Canadians include Sara Frangos and Pia Graham who sit tied in 26th.

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Youth A Male
In the Youth A Male category, Japan’s Keiichiro Korenaga sits alone in first, as he was the only climber to top the tough qualifying route. Jongwon Chon of Korea, Bernhard Rock of Austria and Naoki Shimatani of Japan are all tied for third. Top Canadians include Nathan Smith and Dmitri Karaman who sit well back in 33rd and 36th respectively.

Youth B Female
There is a log jam at the top of the Youth B Female category as no less than nine climbers reached the top of the route and are tied for first. This includes Claire Buhrfeind (USA), Celine Cuypers (Belgium), Janja Garnbret (Slovenia), Emilie Gerhardt (Germany), Margo Hayes (USA), Michelle Hulliger (Switzerland), Miwa Oba (Japan), Franziska Sterrer (Austria), and Laura Stockler (Austria). Top Canadians include Eva Thompson and Elizabeth Vince who are tied in 23rd.

Youth B Male
In the Youth B Male category, Switzerland’s Sascha Lehman and the USA’s Kai Lightner sit tied for first as both climbers nearly reached the top of their routes, each falling one hold short. France’s Hugo Parmentier sits in third. Top Canadians include Lucas Uchida (19th) and Kyle Murdoch (21st).

Image 1228 – The USA’s Kai LIghtner heads up the wall during his qualifying climb Friday. Lightner sits tied for first after Day 1 of competition (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Boulders Media)

Junior Female
In the Junior Female category, five climbers are tied for first, having reached the top of their routes. This includes Manon Hily (France), Delaney Miller (USA), Aya Onoe (Japan), Katharina Posch (Austria) and Magdalena Rock (Austria). Canada’s Iyma Lamarche sits in 16th, while Alyssa Weber is in 20th.

Austria’s Katharina Posch is one of five climbers tied for first in the Junior Female category after Day 1 competition (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Boulders Media)

Junior Male
In the Junior Male category, French climbers dominate as two of the four climbers who topped the route hail from that country, including Mael Bonzom and Thomas Joannes. Also completing the qualifying route were Domen Skofic of Slovenia and Loic Timmermans of Belgium. Top Canadians after the first round of qualifying include Ryder Hoy and Elan Jonas-McRae who sit tied in 22nd place.

Mael Bonzon of France looks for the final move as he reaches the top of his qualifying climb on Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Boulders Media)

Climbing continues with the second qualifying rounds for the lead/difficulty climbing category taking place all day Saturday beginning at 9:30 am, while the exciting speed competition runs all day Sunday with the final rounds beginning at 4:30 pm.

Semi-finals (9:30 am) and finals (4:30 pm) in difficulty take place Monday, with the awards and closing ceremonies at 7:30 pm.

In addition to the climbing competition, a marketplace is set up at the venue, featuring local foods and crafts for everyone in attendance. This includes a special pancake breakfast offer from the Lion’s Club for $7.00.

Admission to the competition events Saturday through Sunday is free, while there is a $5 admission for the semi-finals and finals on Monday.

If you are looking for something different to do this weekend, please come out to support these amazing athletes and learn more about the world of sport climbing.

For more information please head to http://climbtheboulders.com/world-youth-championships/

The Boulders Climbing Gym is adjacent to Stelly’s Secondary School in Central Saanich (1627 Stelly’s Cross Road). Free parking is available at the school but will be limited. Additional parking will be available at Centennial Park or Brentwood Bay Elementary, both a ten minute walk from the school.

The Wall  Photo Dung Nguyen

The Wall Photo Dung Nguyen

About the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC)
The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) was created in 2007 and is a non-governmental international association with a non-profit-making purpose of international interest. The principal purposes of the IFSC are the direction, regulation, promotion, development and furtherance of international climbing competitions (Lead, Speed and Boulder). The IFSC fosters links, networks, and friendly relations among its members, their climbers and officials. The IFSC is recognised by the IOC and is member of ARISF, SportAccord and IWGA. For more details, please visit the IFSC web page at http://www.ifsc-climbing.org

About the Boulders Climbing Gym
The Boulders Climbing Gym is a not-for-profit society, with the mandate of making climbing accessible for everyone, regardless of ability or ability to pay. With over 13,000 square feet (1,208 square metres) of climbing space, The Boulders Climbing Gym is a community facility and a unique social enterprise, providing adaptive recreation and rehabilitation programs, youth recreational and competitive programs, as well as facilitating a climbing academy at Stelly’s Secondary School. All instructors are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. See www.climbtheboulders.com for more details.