Chris Cosser smashed the South African Speed Climbing record on the 25th of January, putting down a time of 6.96 seconds at the recent National Selection Event for the Africa Cup.
On the 3rd and 4th of May 2019, the South African National Climbing Championships took place as the first qualifying event for the Africa Cup. The Africa Cup will be held at CityROCK Cape Town at the end of March (19-22). At the National Climbing Championships the first five male and female spots for the continental championships were filled. Seeing as there are a limited number of athletes from African nations outside of South Africa, a selection event was held to fill up the 20 available spaces per gender.
While Chris had previously qualified for the Africa Cup via the May event, he participated in the selection event to gain further competition experience. Chris progresses to the Africa Cup – an Olympic qualifying event – along with a number of worthy competitors. The Africa Cup and the Olympic event scheduled to happen in Tokyo this year are both combined climbing events, consisting of lead, speed and boulder –showcasing the most all-round athletes.
South African speed climbing has a way to go in terms of the technical skills of the athletes while passion seems to drive some noteworthy results. If Chris’s record run is anything to go by, there is plenty to look forward to. In the Paris 2024 Olympics, speed climbing will be split out into a separate discipline, leaving space for discipline specialists to thrive. Will South Africa, or indeed the African continent produce a speed climbing specialist going forward? Time will tell…
In the meantime, WORLD UP! Africa up!
See you at the Africa Cup.