History was made at the IFSC Climbing Youth World Championships Seoul 2023 as Julian David claimed the first ever medal for New Zealand winning gold in the U20 men’s Speed competition.

David became the first Youth Worlds medallist for his country coming through the qualification and finals on day seven at the Seoul Mountain Climbing & Culture Center as Japan’s Hayashi Karin claimed the women’s title.

Finishing fifth in qualification, David started to find his feet in the finals going under six seconds twice. The final race was a more nervy affair as both David and USA’s Micah Feller stumbled, but it was the Kiwi climber who prevailed 9.33 to 9.64.

David said: “I can’t believe it. It really came down to performing and putting it down on the day. I’ve lost my voice from all the screaming. It’s just incredible, I’m the champion of the world. It’s just incredible.”

By reaching the final, Feller had guaranteed himself a medal, and it was to be a silver and the second step of the podium for the American this time around.

In the small final, the beaten semi-finalists squared off for the bronze medal, and it was Great Britain’s Rafe Stokes who overcame Ukraine’s Hryhorii Ilchyshyn to join David and Feller at the medal ceremony.

Full U20 men’s Speed results can be found here

230824 IFSC Media David wins first ever Youth Worlds medal for New Zealand1Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

Despite a fall in qualification, Hayashi still went into the finals round in top spot. The Japanese climber then kept her cool throughout the round of eight, quarters and semis before racing Poland’s Maria Szwed for the gold medal.

Hayashi tapped the finish pad at 7.92 compared to her rivals 8.67 and was suddenly overcome with emotion as her timer went green to signify her win, and her first Youth Worlds medal. 

Hayashi said: “I’m so happy. I got a bit emotional when I finished the final race, but they were happy tears. I’m just really happy.” 

Szwed had to settle for silver, but is yet another women’s polish Speed athlete to add to the long list of seniors for the future.

The two climbers battling it out for bronze were USA’s Callie Close and Ukraine’s Daria Tkachova. Yet again it was the Ukrainian climber who just missed out on an U20 podium as Close triumphed 9.07 to 10.28.

 Full U20 women’s Speed results can be found here

The 2023 Youth Worlds continues tomorrow with the semi-finals and finals of the U20 Boulder competition as well as Speed qualification for the U18’s.

230824 IFSC Media David wins first ever Youth Worlds medal for New ZealandPhoto: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC

IFSC Youth World Championships

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