Tuesday, 07 August 2018 15:16

Youth Stars Aim for World Titles

699 youth athletes from 5 continents and 43 countries take the spotlight at the IFSC Youth World Championships on August 9th-16th in Moscow, Russia. The young Sport Climbing stars will compete over eight days to be crowned Bouldering, Lead and Speed youth world champions of 2018.

Separated by age into three categories, the IFSC Youth World Championships annually gather Juniors (18-19), Youth A (16-17) and Youth B (14-15) standouts from nations around the globe for nearly nonstop competition climbing in the three Sport Climbing disciplines. This year, multiple qualified athletes for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 (YOG) test their preparations while aiming for the world titles. Click here for the provisional list of qualified athletes.

American Ashima Shiraishi has dominated at the IFSC Youth World Championships in Bouldering and Lead, placing first for three consecutive years. This year, she will have to contest with Youth B Bouldering champion Futaba Ito (JPN) in Youth A. With the graduation of Bouldering youth world champion Yoshiyuki Ogata from Juniors, 2017 runner-up Meichi Narasaki (JPN) is poised to claim the title in 2018. YOG qualified athlete and Youth A Bouldering champion Filip Schenk (ITA) will try to stop him, also moving up to the next category this year. In Youth B, runner-up Semen Ovchinnikov climbs at home this year, and champion Rei Kawamata will look to continue Japan’s Bouldering legacy.

Japan also performed well in Lead to accumulate more medals at the IFSC Youth World Championships in 2017 (24) than any other nation. YOG qualified athlete and Youth A Lead champion Shuta Tanaka should set the bar high again in 2018, and Lead youth world champion Ai Mori and runner-up Natsuki Tanii will aim for more Tops in Moscow. The United States also soared in Lead and Bouldering in 2017 to place second in gold medals (5). Runner-up Brooke Raboutou matched Shiraishi’s top score in Lead finals last year, and both athletes climb in Youth A in Moscow. Their teammate Colin Duffy will look to recreate his inspiring top in 2017 in Youth B, and Kai Lightner returns for his final year of Juniors.

Russia earned the most medals in a single discipline last year, tallying 11 medals in Speed. The home of Speed climbing and host of this year’s IFSC Youth World Championships is set to impress again in the discipline this year. YOG qualified athlete Georgii Morozov and Speed champion Sergei Rukin advance to Juniors this year and posted competitive times for the category last year. 2017 runner-up Elizaveta Ivanova and YOG qualified athlete Elena Krasovskaia are strong candidates to impress in front of their home crowd as well. Also keep an eye on 2017 medallist Evgeny Kuzin in Youth B. Finally, don’t miss any of Aleksandra Kalucka’s races. The YOG qualified athlete and Youth A Speed champion from Poland has recorded fast times in 2018 near the women’s Speed world record (7.32 seconds), and she could end up with another title and a record.

Every semi-final and final round in Moscow will be live streamed on the IFSC homepage, and follow scores from your phone by downloading the “YWCH 2018” results application. Full results, starters, schedule and trailer can be found on the official Moscow event page.

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