IFSC Oceania Qualifier Melbourne 2023

The home nation dominated the Oceania qualifier in Melbourne, Australia, with six women and seven men into the final eights of the Boulder & Lead competition and the odds in their favour for Paris 2024 representation.

From the semi-finals at Urban Climb Blackburn, Tokyo 2020 Olympian Oceania Mackenzie leads the way in the women’s competition with compatriot Maxim Pare top in the men’s.

Mackenzie was the only climber in the competition to top the Lead route and combining that with a strong Boulder round looks the one to beat. Her total of 184.8pts comes from that 100pt Lead success and 84.8pts from four Boulder problems.

Teammate Maya Stasiuk is the closest rival to Mackenzie and was second in both the Boulder and Lead rounds to sit second overall with 128.6pts.

Australia’s Judith Carroll is third with 106.7pts and teammate Emily Scott moved up into fourth after a good Lead round taking her total to 94.0pts.

The top New Zealand climber was Rebecca Hounsell who sits fifth overall with 76.0pts.

After competition Hounsell said: “I was pretty happy with both rounds. Definitely the new format was unfamiliar and there were a couple of key holds I missed in the Boulder round but I’m happy with how it went overall.

“I really wanted to make finals so I’m pretty happy with that, but for me personally I always do better if I focus on fun rather than achieving a certain position. I’ll do what I can to recover tonight and see what tomorrow brings, but I’ll try and have fun.”

Back to the Australian’s and Roxy Perry and Atako Nakamura broke into top eight with their Lead climbs making up for lower scoring Boulder rounds. Perry sits sixth with 67.1pts and Nakamura seventh with 66.4pts.

The eighth and final climber still in with an Olympic shot is New Zealand’s Amanda Speed who has 62.3pts.

Full women’s results here In the men’s competition teammates Pare and Campbell Harrison traded metaphorical blows with Pare first in Boulder round and second in Lead for overall first and a total of 155.8pts, while Harrison was second in Boulder round and first in Lead for overall second with 149.5pts.

Sam Lavender was consistent across Boulder and Lead with third place finishes in both for 128.5pts and third overall.

Lavender said: “It was pretty fun. I really enjoyed the Boulder. A nice round, quite enjoyable with some hard tops. The Lead route was pretty consistent. Consistent hard climbing, but good.

“I am a Boulder climber and setter, but I have quite enjoyed training for Lead. I like the flow of it. It’s fun, but not as fun as Boulder for me, but it’s great when you get into that flow. 

“It’s awesome to have this event in Australia, and at this venue too. It’s awesome to be here. My goal here is to have fun and it’s just nice to be here climbing these IFSC set routes. I’m just enjoying myself.”

Dylan Parks sits fourth with 108.6pts with Ben Abel fifth on 100.6pts. Joshua Mennell makes up the top six for Australia with 88.5pts.

Breaking the stronghold is New Zealand’s solitary final representative Oskar Wolff who is seventh with 76.3pts ahead of the final Australian climber in eighth, Max Thomas with 69.8pts.

Full men’s results here Both the men’s and women’s finals take place tomorrow at 17:00 (UTC+11:00) with the Boulder round before the Lead at 19:00 and the next Paris 2024 Climbing additions being named.


Sam Lavender competes in the Lead round of the Boulder & Lead competition in Melbourne Photo: Victor Hall/IFSC