There may still be one year to go until the Opening Ceremony of Paris 2024 - but there are only a few days until Australian sport climbers have their first opportunity to qualify for the Games.
The IFSC Climbing World Championships will take place in Bern from 1-12 August, with Australian climbers taking to the walls in every event and category. The top three athletes per gender in Lead/Boulder and the top two athletes per gender in Speed will earn a quota by name for Paris 2024.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Oceana Mackenzie has had a very strong 2023 World Cup season, with a personal best finish of 5th place in Boulder at Brixen and an overall 7th place world ranking for the discipline. With the Lead season still underway, Oceana has already achieved a personal best in Briançon with a 10th place finish and is positioning herself as a serious contender to secure a Lead/Boulder quota place in the women's field at Bern.
Image: Arthur Delicque
Melbourne climber Campbell Harrison has also had a strong season, qualifying for his third World Cup semi-finals in Briançon where he finished 26th. "In the lead up to this year's World Cup season, I was feeling the strongest I think I've ever felt. I knew that if I climbed well, I could have some promising results. In Briançon, other than making sure my score was correct, I didn't look at the leaderboard at all until I was finished climbing both routes. Making Lead Semi-Finals again was the culmination of a whole lot of hard work and perseverance, and I'm really proud of this achievement!"
Image: Victor Lami
Other Australians to watch out for in Bern include Max Pare, Aiden Yanev, Dylan Parks and Dylan Soin in the Lead and/or Boulder events, as well as Hayden Barton, Aaron Mattes and Grace Crowley in Speed. Australian paraclimbers Sarah Larcombe, Araminta McLennan, Jessie Bayiartkias and Michael Tarulli will also take to the walls for their events in the second week of competition. The whole team will be supported by Alex MacInnes (National Team Coach) and Katie Kaminski (National Team Physiotherapist).
Image: Bryana Robles
With only two Lead World Cup events to follow the World Championships, most athletes will soon head home to prepare for the IFSC Oceania Qualification Event. The event will be held at Urban Climb in Melbourne from 24-26 November, with one quota spot per event on offer (four in total).
Dylan Parks and Dylan Soin will both also compete at the IFSC Climbing World Youth Championships in South Korea from 19-27 August.
Keep up with all the Australian Climbing Team news on Instagram at @ausclimbing.