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Paris 2016 World Championships Report for Day Zero

Canadian photographer and climber Shane Murdoch brings us the following report from Paris. Watch Semis and Finals for Lead, Bouldering and Speed here.

AccorHotels Arena in Paris is set to welcome over 500 climbers and 20,000 spectators, from Sept. 14 to 18, for the 2016 IFSC Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championships. This five day event will see the top climbers from around the world competing in lead, speed and bouldering.

The World Championships are unique from other IFSC World Cup events in that it includes all three disciplines. Medals will be awarded for each discipline as well as a combined medal for athletes that compete in all three. We should start to see more and more athletes competing in the combined over the next four years now that climbing has been added to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Canada’s Sean McColl and Charlotte Durif of France are the defending combined champions from 2014. Hamilton’s Kate Sawford is the defending silver medalist in the women’s leg amputee division from the 2014 Paraclimbing World Championships, held in Gijon, Spain.

Paris World Championship arena Photo Sean McColl
Paris World Championships walls. Photo Sean McColl

Canada has 17 athletes competing in one or more disciplines (Lead, Bouldering, Speed, and Paraclimbing) at the World Championships in Paris this year. Sean McColl (L,B,S), Elan Jonas McRae (L,B,S), Kyle Murdoch (L), Tosh Sherkat (L), Christy Spurrell (L), Alison Stewart-Patterson (L,B,S), Jaylene Pratt (L), Matthew Wellington (L) and Alannah Yip (L,B,S) from B.C. Annie Chouinard (L), Andre Difelice (B), Roy Lemke (P), Kate Sawford (P) and Nathan Smith (L,B) from Ontario. Allison Vest (B) and Stacey Weldon (B) from Alberta. And Sebastien Lazure (B) from Quebec.

Lead – All lead athletes will climb two qualifier routes. Due to the large number of competitors there will be two pools. The 13 best climbers from each pool (26 in total) will advance to semi-finals. The top 8 climbers from semi-finals will advance to finals.

Bouldering – All bouldering athletes will attempt five problems during the qualification round. There will be two pools of competitors. The 10 best climbers from each pool (20 in total) will advance to semi-finals. The top 6 climbers from semi-finals will advance to finals.

Speed – All speed climbers have two attempts to post their fastest time during qualifications. The 16 fastest climbers will advance to the elimination rounds. During the elimination rounds climbers will compete head to head with the winner advancing to the next round. The current world records are: Female – 7.53 Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) and Male – 5.60 Danyl Boldyrev (UKR).

Paraclimbing – There will be multiple categories depending on the number of climbers enrolled and the number of countries represented. There will be two qualifier routes per category. The number of athletes that advance to finals will depend on the number of competitors.

The competition kicks off tomorrow with Men’s Bouldering qualifications, Women’s Lead qualification and Paraclimbing qualification route 1. For more information on the competition please refer to the official event website here.  Results are available on the IFSC website here.  Good luck to all the Canadian athletes!


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