Western Cape Climbing presented a very successful International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) African Championships at City Rock in Paardeneiland, Cape Town, with two South African athletes taking top honours.
In the female division Erin Sterkenberg from KwaZulu Natal has qualified for next year’s postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after she won gold in the women’s combined event.
The 17-year-old controlled the final from start to finish on her way to securing the continental title. Georgiana Dorward kept the Western Cape flying with an impressive performance for second place, with Tegwen Oates, also from South Africa, completing the hattrick of podium places for the host nation.
Christopher Cosser clinched the African place for a male climber after an intriguing battle with compatriot Chris Naude. Naude, from the Western Cape, was in a favourable position to clinch the title but Cosser won the decisive lead stage to win the overall standings by four points.
Naude took silver and fellow South African Calrin Curtis claimed bronze.
Sport climbing is set to make its Olympic debut at the Games, which are scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8 2021 after being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the aftermath of the event, Chris Naude, president of Western Cape Climbing, proclaimed himself very happy. We as organisers were very happy, even though we could not allow spectators – but that is the rule.
We did manage to get a very good live feed up and running so we had lots of people watching the climbing, probably more people than what would have been the case under normal circumstances.
The international federation sent a technical delegate to oversee and manage the whole competition and the chief route setter also came from overseas. We have not seen the final report yet, but the technical delegate told us before he left that he was happy and that we made life really easy for him.
According to him there were no hassles and we also got good feedback from the international adjudicator and we are very chuffed with that.
I think we have set ourselves up very well to pitch for a World Cup in Cape Town. We have positioned ourselves nicely and we have shown that we are capable of running these types of events.
For now, the South African Championships are planned for June or July next year in Cape Town, but the date has not been finalised.