Paraclimbing World Championships Come To A Close in Innsbruck

After a whirlwind of excitement yesterday and today in Innsbruck, five new Women and seven new Men Paraclimbing World Champions were crowned. Paraclimbing is broken up into various categories based on the specific characteristics of each athlete. Categories vary from visual impairment to arm and leg amputation. A complete list of categories can be found here.

Men and Women’s AU-2 (forearm amputee) athletes competed for gold yesterday and today. In the end, Solenne Piret of France took first place for the women while Matthew Phillips of Great Britain took the crown for the men. Americans Maureen Beck and Trevor Smith took third and second place in women’s and men’s AU-2, respectively. Beck’s strong performance on plastic is particularly impressive considering she just returned from a month long trip to the Cirque of the Unclimbables in remote Canada where her and adaptive climber Jim Ewing attempted the first unassisted adaptive climb of The Lotus Flower Tower (5.10+).

Kiochiro Kobayashi of Japan took home gold in the Men’s B1 (visual impairment) category.There were no women B1 competitors.

Bastien Thomas chalking up on the wall. Photo courtesy of The Austrian Climbing Presse.

Men’s and Women’s B2 (visual impairment) athletes competed on Thursday, with Abigail Robinson of Great Britain and Justin Salas of the United States taking home gold for Men and Women respectively. Notably, Whitney Pesek of the United States took home silver in Women’s B2 (visual impairment). Justin Salas has had quite the year: in March he sent his first V11, Worm Turns, in Joe’s Valley, Utah. For more on Salas’s assent, click here.

Women’s and Men’s AL-2 (leg amputee) athletes duked it out for the title on Thursday and Friday. The French athletes Lucie Jarrige and Thierry Delarue ultimately ended up on top for the Women’s and Men’s categories. The U.S. athlete Emily Stephenson finished third overall for Women’s AL-2 (leg amputee).

Alessio Cornamusini of Italy won gold for Men’s RP-1 on Thursday. No women competed in this category.

Lastly, competitors competed in the RP-2 and RP-3 categories on Thursday with Hannah Baldwin of Great Britain and Behnam Khalaji of Iran taking the top spots for Women’s RP-2 and Men’s PR-2. Aika Yoshida of Japan and Romain Pagnoux of France won the categories for Women’s RP-3 and Men’s RP-3.

Congratulations to all the athletes who competed in the Paraclimbing World Championships this year in Innsbruck! For a complete list of competitors and final places please visit the IFSC website.