Prosthetic Categories

Paraclimbing World Champions Are an Inspiration to Aspiring Adaptive Climbers

    We all need someone to look up to and learn from, especially when we are trying to achieve something challenging. When it comes to sports, especially para-athletics, inspiration, and role models can help motivate us to keep pushing forward. 

    Thierry Delarue, an adaptive climber from France, scaling up a wall during the IFSC 2019 Paraclimbing World Championships.

    The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) recently concluded the 2019 Paraclimbing World Championships in Briançon, France, and the two-day event produced champions, both new and returning. 

    Thierry Delarue of France belongs to the latter after he won his second World Championship title in the Men’s AL-2 (leg amputee) category. Spain’s Urko Carmona Baranddiaran and Albert Guardia Ferrer placed second and third, respectively. 

    Meanwhile, another returning champion Lucie Jarrige of France secured her third World Championship win in the combined RP3 and AL-2 category. She finished strong by being the only women’s climber to top the route. Jarrige was followed by Japan’s Aika Yoshida and Momoko Yoshida, both of whom reached the headwall.

    In the Men’s AU-2 (below-elbow amputee) category, reigning World Champion Matthew Phillips of Great Britain secured the gold medal again, but not without some serious competition from Israel’s Mor Michael Sapir.  

    The Women’s AU-2 category played out like a flashback to last year’s competition in Innsbruck; the category’s three podium athletes returned stronger this year. Solenne Piret of France was the only competitor to top the wall, which earned her the first place. Meanwhile, Maureen Beck from the USA and Melinda Vigh from Hungary garnered the second and third places, respectively.   

    (Related reading: Jake Sanchez and His Passion for Adaptive Climbing)

    B1, B2, and B3 (visual impairment)  

    The Men’s B2 category featured two Innsbruck podium finishers. Innsbruck bronze medalist Fumiya Hamanoue of Japan landed in third place, while the previous world champion, USA’s Justin Salas, secured the second place. In first place was Japan’s Sho Aita, who reached just below the coveted top hold when the time ran out.

    Romania’s Cosmin Florin Candoi won the gold medal in the Men’s B3 category. He was followed by Great Britain’s Lux Losey Sail who secured silver.

    Innsbruck Men’s B1 category winner Koichiro Kobayashi of Japan won the gold again this year. He was followed closely by last year’s bronze medalist Francis Aguilar Amoedo of Spain who won the silver this time. 

    In the Women’s B2 category, Innsbruck champion Abigail Robinson defended her title by effortlessly topping the route.  

    RP1, RP2, and RP3 (limited range, power, or stability)  

    The Men’s RP1 category produced a new champion—France’s Bastien Thomas, who topped the wall. Italy’s two-time World Champion Alessio Cornamussini took the second place this time. 

    Iran’s Behnam Khalaji secured the first place in the Men’s RP2 category, followed by the USA’s Benjamin Mayforth. Meanwhile, the Men’s RP3 category saw France achieve a double podium finish. Romain Pagnoux won gold while Mathieu Besnard won silver. 

    The Women’s RP2 category saw Hannah Baldwin of Great Britain finish in the first place. She was joined at the podium by France’s Anita Aggarwal and Leanora Volpe, both of whom finished in second and third places, respectively. 

    Are you an aspiring adaptive climber? Who is your favorite athlete and why do you look up to them? We would love to know what you think.