JANSE VAN RENSBURG WINS DUEL WITH COSSER, POCKETS TICKET TO PARIS OLYMPICS
The IFSC African Qualifier ended today, 9 December, at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Pretoria, South Africa, crowning two home climbers with the gold medal, and most importantly, awarding them with an Olympic quota to the Olympic Games Paris 2024.
The men’s Boulder & Lead final started off with a 45-minute delay, caused by an episode of heavy rain that forced officials and volunteers to put in some extra work and bring the field of play back to ideal conditions.
Mel Janse Van Rensburg of South Africa took first place at the end of the Boulder phase thanks to a two-top performance that was worth 68.9 points, while Calrin Curtis and Tokyo 2020 participant Christopher Cosser followed in second and third place – with 64.6 and 64.4 points respectively.
The conclusive and decisive round that followed saw Janse Van Rensburg climb second-to-last, cruising all the way to the top of the wall for 100 points, and lock in first place a few minutes before the official end of the event.
“I’m surprised, I guess. This feeling is unreal, I am super happy!” declared Janse Van Rensburg. “I was a little bit nervous before the Boulder round, but I knew I could do it, so I just tried to have fun. The Lead route felt good all the way, I knew that if I had topped, I would have won.
“I’m currently studying Engineering in Lyon, France, so next year is going to be pretty tough, but I’m going to have to make time to train and maybe do some World Cups... I haven’t thought that far, but I can speak French!”
Despite knowing first place was out of reach for him, Cosser still managed to secure the highest score with his Lead climb, finishing in second place with 164.4 points – just 4.5 behind his rival.
The podium was completed by 16-year-old Nicholas Allan, who won bronze with 136.9 points.
For the men’s Boulder & Lead complete results click here.
The IFSC African Qualifier Pretoria 2023 was the 23rd event on an IFSC season that featured 16 Climbing and Paraclimbing World Cups, two World Championships, and five Continental Qualifiers.
A total of 30 athletes secured a ticket to next year’s Olympic Games Paris 2024, with 30 more slots being at stake at the Olympic Qualifier Series – scheduled in Shanghai, China, from 16 to 19 May; and Budapest, Hungary, from 20 to 23 June – and the rest being distributed as host country and universality quota places.
News and updates about the all IFSC events are be available on the IFSC website, and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.
Mel Janse Van Rensburg won the men's Boulder & Lead event at the IFSC African Qualifier Pretoria 2023
Photo: The Good Beta/IFSC