Olympic Climbing Athlete’s Devastating Last-Minute Slip-Up Goes Viral

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on : 05 Aug 2021 13:15
Olympic Climbing Athlete’s Devastating Last Minute Slip-Up Goes ViralBBC

An Olympic climbing athlete suffered a devastating last-minute loss as she slipped just before reaching the top of the boulder. 

Iuliia Kaplina of the Russian Olympic Committee was competing against Team GB’s Shauna Coxsey in the first heat of the three-discipline women’s sport climbing at the Aomi Urban Sports Park.


She began the race immediately flying into the lead from the moment she left the floor. However, just moments from reaching the top of the boulder, Kaplina slipped and lost her grip, causing her rival to take the lead.

Kaplina, a world record-holder in speed climbing, was visibly upset as she descended from the boulder, crying as she was lowered down. However, Kaplina remained in fifth place after her first attempt, with a time of 7.65 seconds.

Speed, bouldering and lead climbing were all merged as one sport at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The merge seen as controversial due to the different sections requiring very different skillsets.


Coxsey said of the merge, ‘The format is not ideal. As an athlete, I think it’s pretty risky on your body. It’s intense. It’s almost impossible to train all the aspects of the combined in a good way, anyway.’

However, the event was well received by spectators, the music in the stadium giving the event a festival feel. The combination of all categories in one event also added an extra tension in the atmosphere.

The devastating video has since gone viral, with Reddit users taking to the comments to show their support for the athlete. One commented, ‘Aaaah that frustration is so relatable it actually hurts to watch’


Another said:

Shauna Coxsey is a climber, and a really good one. Not a speed climber, which is really fundamentally different. She is only doing the whole speed climbing thing because it was combined with lead and bouldering, so she was just trying to put up a time. It’s really absurd to combine these. It’s almost as bad as if they were to combine the beam and floor in gymnastics with the 110m hurdles. Hey, both involve jumping, right?

A third commented, ‘Breaks my heart when this happens and seeing how upset the athletes get. She still did fantastic though. The speed and strength these people have just blows my mind.’

Similarly to Kaplina, Coxsey ended up falling off the wall, resulting in her coming in at 10th place overall, after placing 15th in Speed, 4th in Boulder and 13th in Lead.


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Topics: News, Now, Tokyo 2020 Olympics


The Guardian and 1 other
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