Sarah Larcombe has won Australia's first ever Paraclimbing World Championships medal, bringing home the silver in the Women's AL2 category from Bern earlier this month.
Image: Lena Drapella
Larcombe's result builds on her World Cup results this year in Salt Lake City, Innsbruck and Villars with a silver sweep across all comps. Reflecting to @ausclimbing, Larcombe said "My first World Championships was an amazing experience, and I’m happy (and relieved!) to be finishing the season as Vice World Champion in W-AL2. The scale and atmosphere of this event was huge and so exciting, so it was especially great to be there with the Australian team and to cheer on our athletes across all the sport climbing disciplines. I want to send a huge thanks to everyone for their support this season, and keep your fingers crossed for Paraclimbing at LA28!"
Image: Jan Virt
Four Australian athletes competed at the Paraclimbing World Championships, with Jessie Bayiartakis also competing in the W-AL2 category and finishing 10th. Michael Tarulli placed 12th in the M-RP2 event and Araminta McLennan placed 13th in the W-RP1 event. While all four athletes made their Paraclimbing World Championship debut, it also served as the international competition debut for Bayiartakis and Tarulli.
It's no coincidence that all four athletes are from Melbourne, where there is a strong paraclimbing community through the work of Adaptive Climbing Victoria (ACV). ACV was founded in 2018 by Katie Kaminsky, an APA Sport and Exercise/Amputee Rehabilitation Physiotherapist, to offer people living with a disability the opportunity to participate in the sport of rock climbing, both competitively and socially, no matter their ability.
Image: Lena Drapella
Kaminsky is the National Physiotherapist and supported the team in Bern, along with National Coach Alex MacInnes. MacInnes says "The friendly and supportive atmosphere that is synonymous with climbing gyms everywhere seemed amplified in paraclimbing isolation. There was a real sense of fun and excitement in the air - competition certainly existed but everyone just seemed more excited to get the opportunity to climb again."
Sport Climbing Australia is grateful to have received support from Airbnb through the Australian Olympic Committee to provide a team hub for the Climbing and Paraclimbing World Championship Teams. The Airbnb property allowed the athletes to relax after the demands of competition, wind down with post-training stretches, have a space to receive physiotherapy treatment, enjoy team dinners cooked in the fully equipped kitchen and create a shared team experience with other athletes and performance staff.
Keep up with all the Australian Climbing Team news on Instagram at @ausclimbing.