The 2023-2024 Senior National Climbing Championships in bouldering and lead climbing kicked off this week in the Vancouver, BC area, with Zach Richardson of Ontario and Anna Kelley of Alberta winning the title of Canadian Champion in bouldering for the senior men’s and women’s categories respectively.
With record numbers of participation, and representation from every province except Prince Edward Island and the Territories, the competition was fierce in both categories at The Hive climbing gym in Surrey, BC
Richardson, 22, bested 92 other competitors to take his second Canadian Open title, beating last year’s champion – Guy McNamee of BC in the process. McNamee, 20, took silver, while Hugo Dorval,19, of Quebec took bronze. All athletes successfully completed the first three problems, but with none of them completing the final problem, it came down to their number of attempts on each and that’s where Richardson came out on top.
“We have a lot of strong climbers this year so that honestly kind of takes the pressure off – you just have to try your hardest because anyone can win,” said Richardson following the competition. “The boulders were quite doable, and when you can tell each round is coming down to tries, it is so scary. I felt so shaky, and I knew that any little slip was going to cost me positions, so I was just praying to stay on the wall the whole time and I just got lucky and didn’t fall.”
16-year-old Kelley was the only athlete to reach three out of the four tops in the women’s final – none of the athletes were able to solve the final problem. She bested Emilia Callanan, 19, of Quebec who was coming off a recent win at the 2023 Youth Boulder National Championships and who took the silver medal, and Madison Richardson, 22, who has stood on the podium multiple times at nationals, who took the bronze medal. There were 73 athletes vying for the title so competition was stiff.
“I felt pretty good on all of my boulders. Yesterday (qualification round) was a lot rougher for me, so I’m glad that I was able to get through that,” said Kelley who finished the qualifying round in 15th. “It’s nice to see that my training has paid off. I’ve had a lot of rough competitions lately so it’s nice to get a win.”
The competition now moves to the Richmond Olympic Oval for the lead portion of the Championships which will take place from November 26 to 27th.
For full results please visit: https://cec.results.info/
Information regarding the event can be found here: https://climbingcanada.ca/2023-2024-senior-national-championships-event-central/
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