Sport climbers to shake off rust, put on Olympic preview at two Salt Lake City World Cups

Kyra Condie and Nathaniel Coleman of Salt Lake City are looking for valuable lessons for Tokyo in only their second and third international competitions in more than a year.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Nathaniel Coleman from Salt Lake City won the USA Climbing: Bouldering Open National Championships for the third time in a row on Saturday, February 3, 2018, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. Coleman, who qualified for the Olympic Games, will be participating in three World Cup events in 2021 at SLC Industry over the next two weeks – two in bouldering and one in speed.

Due to the restrictions on accommodation caused by COVID-19, many people figuratively wanted to climb the walls of their homes. Kyra Condie literally climbed it.

With the gyms closed and no competitions in sight, the Olympics-tied sport climber took out a drill and some plywood and built a climbing wall on an overhanging wall in a room in her Salt Lake City home.

Murray-born Nathaniel Coleman, who also qualified to represent the United States in Tokyo, took a “outside the box” approach to staying in shape during the doldrums. He went to court.

“Myself and my roommates and some of the other climbers started putting together volleyball games,” Coleman said. “Just to focus on something that has nothing to do with climbing.”

After a year of no international elite-level competition, U.S. climbers and many of their overseas counterparts can finally begin measuring the effectiveness of the often unusual training tactics they used during the pandemic. And with only two months to go before the Olympics, they’ll find out where they stand in terms of medal potential.

Two events of the International Association of Sport Climbing World Championships will take place in Salt Lake City over the next two weeks: a Bouldering World Championship this weekend and a Bouldering and Speed ​​World Championship on May 28th and 30th. For the Americans, they are only the second and third international competition since everything was closed last March. The first was a Boulder World Cup in Switzerland last month.

Condie said it was important to see the competition and get more experience with big events when the Tokyo Games are around. Sport climbing, which is making its Olympic debut, is expected to take place from August 3rd to 6th at Aomi Urban Sports Park in Tokyo.

“I think it’s really important in our sport to have that competitive experience that leads to the games, especially when it comes to track setting,” said Condie. “And so we are really happy that there will be two consecutive world championships in Salt Lake where we will stand on these competition lines and get this exercise for the Olympics.

“Although we didn’t have it last year, we have it now.”

The route setting refers to the design of a climbing wall or boulder, using different types of hand and kicks to make this more or less difficult. Olympic climbers will compete in three disciplines – Boulder, Lead and Speed ​​- their combined scores determine the medal winners. In the first two cases, Boulder and Lead, climbers are confiscated and can only view the routes minutes before the competition.

That’s a surprise element to competition that is difficult to prepare for on a rock-climbing wall or even practicing on real boulders – another popular pandemic training tactic.

Even so, Condie and Coleman have done pretty well so far.

Coleman finished fifth overall at the Boulder World Cup in Switzerland, an event won by Adam Ondra from the Czech Republic. Ondra, who is sponsored by Black Diamond of Salt Lake City, also plans to participate in both world championships. Condie took 21st place at the World Cup opener and third place among the American women behind bouldering specialist Natalia Grossman (third) and the Olympic qualification Brook Raboutou (ninth). In her first major national competition, the USA Climbing National Team Trials, Condie finished first overall after taking the lead, while finishing second in bouldering and speed, where she set a personal best.

“I think what makes me most proud of this event is the successful transfer of the training time and successes I’ve had in training to an actual competition,” said Condie. “I think that’s the goal in competition, to see how your training pays off. This is definitely what I’m most proud of.

“And when it comes to Olympic training, I think it’s nice to see that we did the right things. We all had a really good performance at this event and did very well in all three disciplines. I think that just shows that we’re doing the right things as a team. “

In addition to identifying the tweaks they need to make over the next two months to improve their chances of success in Tokyo, athletes will see a side effect of participating in the upcoming World Championships. You will be able to compete in front of a crowd, including friends and family at least for the Americans. Non-Japanese viewers were banned from participating in the Olympics this summer. The venue for the upcoming World Championships, SLC Industry, will accommodate up to 3,000 spectators per day. Masks are required.

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