The 2015 IFSC World Youth Climbing Championships (WYCC) will begin on August 28 in Arco, Italy.
By Shane Murdoch
More than 1,000 young climbers from 50 different countries have descended on this small town in Northern Italy to compete in this ten day event. Arco’s massive limestone cliffs form the backdrop for the permanent outdoor climbing wall where the competition will be held.
There are a record number of athletes registered for this years competition. This is also the first year that the WYCC will include Bouldering in addition to the standard Lead and Speed disciplines.
The event will end with Arco’s annual Rock Master competition where 16 of the best climbers in the world, including Canada’s Sean McColl, will compete head to head in a single elimination duel.
The Canadian team includes 41 athletes from across Canada between the ages of 14 and 19. The winners from Canadian Nationals include: Sophie Buitendyk, Sonja Johanson, Zach Richardson, Beth Vince, Maggy Dubé Laroche, Lucas Uchida, Becca Frangos, Sam Tiukuvaara, Nathan Smith, and Tristen Gosselin. Lucas recently won gold in Bouldering at the PanAm Games in Mexico City. Zach also had a lot of success in Mexico City earning a spot on the podium in both Bouldering and Lead.
There are many international climbers to watch for who have found their way onto the podium at previous international events. Janja Garnbret from Slovania won Lead at WYCC last year and recently took silver at her first two World Cup events. Jessica Pilz from Austria earned a spot on the podium at four World Cups this year.
Kai Lightner and Drew Ruana from the U.S. battled it out last year for 1st and 2nd. Ashima Shiraishi from the U.S. has proven that at 14 years old she can already compete with the best in the world. Hannah Schubert from Austria won gold at last years Youth Championship in New Caledonia. There are many other young athletes who have proven they can win and will be fighting for their spot on the podium.
The schedule and rea-ltime results are available on the IFSC website (http://www.ifsc-climbing.org). There is a smartphone app called IFSC Youth 14 that will allow you to follow the results on your phone. We will also be LIVE streaming the event on Gripped.com.
Good luck to all the Canadian athletes!
[shareprints gallery_id=”14640″ gallery_type=”thumb_slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]- All photos by Shane Murdoch, a B.C.-based climber and photographer covering the Arco competition for Gripped.