Slobodan Miskovic-xsloba-IFSC Para WC-SLC-17.05
World Cup
Salt Lake City

Sport Climbing’s Para-athlete’s return to action for the new year in Salt Lake City, USA, in the first of three IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup dates on the 2024 calendar.

With Innsbruck, Austria, and Arco, Italy, to come later in the year, the first stop will see 129 climbers from 20 nations take to the Lead wall at Momentum gym – Millcreek in the Western state of Utah.

For athletes with physical and visual impairments to range and power impairments, the IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup Salt Lake City will showcase skill, technique, power and endurance back on the international stage for the first time since the World Championships in Bern last August.

One climber who took the top step of the World Championships podium was France’s Solenne Piret in the women’s AU2.

Talking of the new year Piret said: “I’m always a bit doubtful at the beginning of the season, but as soon as I get to the venue I get really psyched, and this year is no different.”

That approach definitely worked in 2023 as Piret went unbeaten in her sport class across the three IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup’s, meaning she is defending a gold medal coming back to Salt Lake City.

Even though the city is the same, the wall is not as the venue has changed: “I really liked the venue we were at for the past two years, but I’m excited to have some new surroundings, a new venue and climb a different wall.”

Whilst Piret is unfamiliar with the new wall, Austria’s Markus Pösendorfer isn’t, not anymore anyway.

Pösendorfer said: “I’m feeling pretty ready. I arrived in Salt Lake City about two weeks ago and we have been training a lot in the gym where the competition will be held. I’m excited to bring the show now.”

With the new competition year imminent, Pösendorfer wants to make 2024 another good one for his nation: “We’ve got a lot of new athletes this year in our group so me and Angelino [Zeller] are looking to show Austria is still the country to beat.”

Austria may be the country to beat in Pösendorfer’s opinion, but so is teammate Zeller in the AL1 sport class: “For this event my goal would be to win obviously, but it’s very hard because Angelino is here in town with me, so I’d be pretty stoked with second place.”

Some of the other names to look out for are returning Salt Lake City gold medallists Sho Aita from Japan in the men’s B1 category and home favourite Seneida Biendarra from the USA in the women’s B3 as well as the dominant Lucie Jarrige of France who is on a run of five World Cups and a World Championship title in the women’s AL2.

Climbing begins on Tuesday 7 May at 09:00 local time with qualification before the finals on Wednesday 8 May.

News and updates about all Climbing events will 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.

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