Oceania Mackenzie has placed 7th in Boulder at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Bern, equalling her 2023 World Cup ranking and cementing her place in Australian sport climbing history.
Image: David Schweizer
After qualifying for semi finals in 19th position, Mackenzie was the second climber on the wall and set the standard for the rest of the field. With three tops (including a flash) and all four zones, she narrowly missed out on qualifying for finals due to attempts to top. Janja Garnbret and Brooke Raboutou were the only climbers to top all four problems.
According to the IFSC website, Mark Baker is the only other Australian climber to place in the top ten at a World Championships, finishing equal 7th in Speed at Frankfurt in 1991. Garth Miller finished 11th in Lead at Paris in 1997, and until now Australia's best Boulder result at a World Championships was 13th place - achieved by both Samantha Berry at Chamonix in 2003 and James Kassay at Munich in 2014.
Although Mackenzie didn't progress beyond the Lead qualification round after finishing in 45th, her 7th place finish in Boulder will have earned the Victorian Institute of Sport athlete valuable points towards her combined score. After the conclusion of the finals, the top 20 ranked Boulder/Lead competitors will compete again in both disciplines from August 9 with three Olympic quota places on offer.
Image: Lena Drapella / IFSC
Strong individual performances were also recorded in the Men's events, with Australia finishing 10th place in the Boulder team rankings. In Boulder, Dylan Parks placed 63rd (one top and two zones), Max Pare placed 67th (one top and one zone), Campbell Harrison placed 79th (four zones) and Aiden Yanev placed 81st (three zones). "Had a great time and I'm super keen for more. I'm happy with my mental and physical progression throughout the season and I've learnt many valuable lessons" says Dylan Parks. "This comp I felt I had more fight in me and I'd love to keep the ball rolling."
Image: Lena Drapella / IFSC
Harrison was Australia's highest placed Lead competitor, finishing 39th out of 125 competitors. "Immediately after the round I was pretty upset, because I really felt like my climbing didn't 'click' on either route. Shortly after, I realised that cracking the top 40 in one of the biggest Lead World Champs fields ever is something to be pretty proud of. There's definitely a little bit of grief for how well my first qualifier was going before I missed a foothold hidden behind a volume, but that's how climbing goes sometimes…my shape certainly felt the best it's ever felt here in Bern, and the thirst to accomplish bigger and better things is strong."
Image: Pho Metheus
Other Lead competitors included Dylan Soin who placed 65th, Parks in 85th and Pare in 93rd. Australians still to compete include Sarah Larcombe, Araminta McLennan, Jessie Bayiartkias and Michael Tarulli in Paraclimbing from August 8, and Hayden Barton, Aaron Mattes and Grace Crowley in Speed on August 10.
Keep up with all the Australian Climbing Team news on Instagram at @ausclimbing.