Young Climbers Reach New Heights at Worlds

More than 400 athletes from 37 countries came to Movement Gym at The Hill Dallas on Aug. 22-25 for the International Federation of Sport Climbing Youth World Championship.

It was the first time that IFSC and USA Climbing staged the annual event in the United States. The Hill hosted the bouldering competition, which comprises one-third of sport climbing. The other two disciplines, lead and speed, subsequently took place in Plano.

The visiting athletes were divided into three age groups for both boys and girls — Juniors (ages 18-19), Youth A (16-17), and Youth B (14-15).

Fort Worth’s Annie Sanders, representing Team USA, was named the world champion in the Youth B female division for the second consecutive year. Hugo Hoyer of North Carolina won the Youth B male category.

Other gold medalists included Hannes Van Duysen of Belgium (Juniors male), Zelia Avezou of France (Juniors female), Ritsu Kayotani of Japan (Youth A male), and Sara Copar of Slovenia (Youth A female).

The youth championships are widely seen as a steppingstone for future Olympians in the sport, which debuted on the Olympic program last year in Tokyo.

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