Shauna Coxsey becomes first ever British woman to win climbing World Championship medal

Team GB British Olympic Association Tokyo 2020 One Year To Go Media Event

Climbing is getting ready to take its place on the Olympic stage next year for the first time and so is leading British climber, Shauna Coxsey.

Her quest for Olympic glory got underway with a bang, as she claimed the bronze medal at the Bouldering World Championship in Hachioji, Japan. She is the first British woman ever to win a medal at the IFSC World Championships.

Coxsey is a leading boulderer – a form of climbing without ropes – who has previously won the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in 2016 and 2017 but this World Championship win is a first for her having missed previous championships due to injury. 

Coxsey qualified for the finals in sixth place out of six available spaces. Each competitor had to take on four boulder problems, with two minutes to look at each climb and four minutes to then complete it. Coxsey completed the first climb but struggled with the second and third boulders.

This meant her chance at a podium finish all came down to the final problem, which she completed in one attempt in what is known as a flash.

This performance was enough to win Coxsey the bronze medal, behind Slovenia's Janja Garnbret who retained her world title and Japan's Akiyo Noguchi who took home silver.

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I honestly did not expect this. I don’t know what to say

She won’t get much time to celebrate as she is about to compete in the Lead World Championships which is a climbing discipline that involves using ropes to scale taller walls. Coxsey wrote on her Instagram. 

The reason Coxsey is moving on so quickly to the next competition is down to the newly created Olympic format. Traditionally climbers tend to focus on one discipline – for Coxsey this was bouldering – with little crossover.

For the sport's Olympic debut, however, climbers will be expected to compete across three disciplines: bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing, which is the climbing equivalent to the 100-metre race.  

Media Access with Shauna Coxsey - Team GB Climbing Athlete

To qualify for the Olympics Coxsey must compete in multiple World Championship events, before taking part in next week's IFSC Combined World Championships that involves tackling all three disciplines in one competition. To secure her place in Tokyo at this stage Coxsey must place within the top seven. If she misses out, there will be subsequent qualification events for the chance to win one of the coveted 20 Olympic places.

Other Brits looking to claim their place are Molly Thompson-Smith, Jo Neame, William Bosi and Billy Ridal.

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