2023 World Championships Wrap-Up

As the dust settles from last week’s World Championship and Paraclimbing World Championship events, Team USA comes out with medals in hand, Olympic qualifying spots and having reached new milestones.

The Highlights

During the Boulder portion of the events, the Women came out swinging as Brooke Raboutou, Natalia Grossman, Anastasia Sanders, and Kyra Condie all moved on to the semi-finals round. Raboutou was able to carry that momentum into finals as she secured her third-place spot on the podium and the first medal of the events for Team USA.

The men’s side of the US National Team picked up a bit of traction during the Lead round of the competition with Sean Bailey, Colin Duffy and Jesse Grupper all making their way into the semi-finals round along with Brooke Raboutou and Anastasia Sanders on the Women’s side. While both Bailey and Raboutou would move on to the final rounds, podium positions would elude them for this portion of the competition.

As is common, the speed portion of the events happened in a blur and was full of surprises from newcomers and veterans alike.

This year the Speed portion of the World Championships came with a bit more weight as it would serve as the very first opportunity for athletes to qualify for the 2024 Olympic games in Paris. The top two men and women would not only carry away a World Championship medal, but also lock in their spots at the upcoming summer games.

Newcomer to the US National Team, Zachary Hammer, was able to run his way to the finals round of the men’s competition. While he was unable to secure a podium position, Hammer certainly had an exceptional debut to the World Championships and one that clearly alludes to great things to come.

Team veteran, Emma Hunt, was also able to easily secure her spot in the final round of the women’s speed competition. While a podium finish was well within reach, Hunt thrilled the crowd in Bern by running her way into the second-place position on the podium. This not only secured her World Championship Silver medal, but also her Olympic qualification spot. In this one instance, Hunt was able to earn a second event medal for Team USA, earn the first Olympic qualifying spot for 2024 and be the first athlete to qualify for Speed as an individual discipline at the Olympic games.

Team USA’s Paraclimbing National Team also made their way to Switzerland as the Paraclimbing World Championships were held alongside last week’s Boulder, Lead, and Speed events in Bern. This year, Team USA found it’s first success with a total of 44 registered paraclimbing athletes taking part in the World Championships. A first for the team and a fantastic indicator for the growth of the sport and paraclimbing programs across the US.

The success didn’t slow down there as twelve of those individuals quickly moved on to the finals round of competition. Ultimately, nine of those twelve athletes would go on to earn their place on the podium, carrying away four bronze medals and five silver medals for Team USA.

Click Here for a full list of results from the Paraclimbing World Championships.

This Paraclimbing World Championship event also marked a milestone as long-time competitor and highly decorated paraclimbing athlete, Maureen Beck, noted that it would be her final event in the paraclimbing competition circuit. Maureen has been a part of the paraclimbing competition community for the past ten years and along with the bronze medal she carried away this year, has not missed a podium position during that ten-year tenure. The climbing community is still hopeful to have paraclimbing included in the LA2028 Paralympics, so when asked, Maureen noted that she certainly wouldn’t rule out a return to competition for a shot at the 2028 Games.

To learn more about Paraclimbing, you can visit the Paraclimbing page on the USA Climbing website.

Boulder & Lead Combined
As the World Championships headed into the final few days, the Boulder & Lead Combined events began, carrying along with it an opportunity for Olympic qualification given to the top three men and women. Brooke Raboutou, Anastasia Sanders, Natalia Grossman, and Kyra Condie all found their way to the semi-finals round on the women’s side while Colin Duffy and Sean Bailey did the same for the men. Regardless of the strong showing in the Lead finals round, Raboutou fell just shy of the podium with Sanders just four places behind.

On the men’s side of the combined finals, Colin Duffy was the last of the US athletes to remain. Despite the strong field of competitors, Duffy was able to put on an impressive show during the Lead finals event and secure his second-place position on the podium. This of course meant that, along with the silver medal, Duffy had secured his place at the 2024 Summer Games. Duffy’s achievement not only made him the second US athlete to qualify for the 2024 Games, but also the first two-time US Olympian in the sport of climbing.


Watch all the Livestream action from Bern on the IFSC YouTube Channel

Click here for full results from the 2023 World Championships 

Learn more about the Boulder/Lead and Speed Olympic qualification systems.



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