September 16, 2012, Paris, France – As members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) looked on, Sean McColl of Vancouver climbed to first place in overall rankings at the World Climbing and Paraclimbing Championship, at Bercy Stadium in Paris Sunday afternoon.
The overall ranking combines an athletes’ result in the three sport climbing disciplines: lead climbing, speed climbing and bouldering. In addition to overall gold, McColl won a silver medal in lead climbing and placed 4th in bouldering. He set a new personal best time in speed climbing. This is the second time McColl has won the overall world climbing championship; the first was in China in 2009.
The IOC was in Paris as part of its evaluation process; sport climbing is one of eight new sports short-listed for addition to the Olympic Games in 2020.
Said McColl of his performance, “I’m happy with my climbs. It was a well-run competition, and I am glad my family was able to be here to support me”.
5 other Canadians also competed in Paris. Robert Stewart-Patterson, who trains in Victoria, set a new Canadian record of 9.20 seconds in speed climbing, placing 34th. He placed 57 out of 99 competitors in lead climbing.
Sebastien Lazure, of Montreal, placed 59th out of 114 competitors in men’s bouldering, and Toronto’s Ayodele Sopeju placed 87th. In women’s bouldering, Thomasina Pidgeon of Squamish placed 47th out of 65 in women’s bouldering, and Kelly Drager of Calgary ended the competition in 53rd spot.