Four More Athletes Qualify for 2020 Olympic Games


Two Continental Championships—Africa and Oceania—took place this past weekend. The top placing male and female athletes from each event earned Olympic berths for the 2020 Games. Added to the now complete roster for Sport Climbing are Tom O’Halloran and Oceana Mackenzie from Oceania, and Christopher Cosser and Erin Sterkenburg from Africa.

“You only get one go in your life to try and be an Olympian,” said O’Halloran shortly after the finals. “I had some pretty serious ups and down with my motivation. I nearly pulled out, because it was just too difficult. The training, the juggle with work and family life, missing out on time with my daughter and partner. The thing that kept me going was What am I going to feel like the morning of the competition when I’m not there? I feel really proud of the work that I’ve put in, regardless of the result.”

O’Halloran, 28, has been competing in IFSC competitions on and off since 2007. He placed thirty-second in the Hachioji Lead World Championships.

Mckenzie waves to the crowd after topping the final Lead route and clinching her win. Photo Nathan McNeil/IFSC

Mackenzie, 18, made waves last year after placing sixth in the Meiringen Bouldering World Cup.

“It was very stressful, but I’m so happy,” said Mackenzie following finals. “I was a little nervous warming up and getting all my stuff together, but once I started climbing I was like ‘Okay, this is good!’. I had a very good time. Now we’ll get back into training, seeing where we can travel to next year to compete at a high level, doing a couple of world cups per discipline.”

Sterkenburg, 17, has the least competition experience of the qualified athletes. She has previously competed in three Youth World Championships in Bouldering and Lead. Cosser has been competing in the circuit since 2014. The 20-year-old’s best placement was fourteenth in the 2019 Combined Youth World Championships.




The final ranking of the men’s Combined at the 2020 IFSC Oceania Championships in Sydney is as follows:

  1. Tom O’Halloran (AUS) 8.0 ranking points
  2. Ben Abel (AUS) 15.0
  3. James Kassay (AUS) 18.0
  4. Thomas Farrell (AUS) 18.0
  5. Ned Middlehurst (AUS) 80.0
  6. Chase Gatland (NZL) 120.0
  7. Hugo Hornshaw (AUS) 392.0
  8. Campbell Harrison (AUS) DNF


The final ranking of the women’s Combined at the 2020 IFSC Oceania Championships in Sydney is as follows:

  1. Oceania Mackenzie (AUS) 1.0 ranking points
  2. Angie Scarth-Johnson (AUS) 12.0
  3. Ella Easton (AUS) 42.0
  4. Siobhan Dobie (AUS) 64.0
  5. Lucinda Ann Stirling (AUS) 147.0
  6. Mia Weeda (AUS) 150.0
  7. Cirrus Tan (NZL) 240.0
  8. Leah Jeffries (AUS) 384.0


The final ranking of the mens Combined at the 2020 IFSC Africa Championships in Cape Town is as follows:

  1. Christopher Cosser (RSA) 4.0 ranking points
  2. David Naude (RSA) 6.0
  3. Calrin Curtis (RSA) 24.0
  4. Oliver Marx (RSA) 48.0
  5. James Barnes (RSA) 105.0
  6. Tony Flynn (RSA) 150.0
  7. Christopher Wallace (RSA) 294.0
  8. Matthew Grunewald (RSA) 512.0


The final ranking of the women’s Combined event at the 2020 IFSC African Championships in Cape Town is as follows:

  1. Erin Sterkenburg (RSA) 1.0 points
  2. Georgiana Dorward (RSA) 16.0
  3. Tegwen Oates (RSA) 27.0
  4. Catherine Honegger (RSA) 56.0
  5. Caitlyn Burwood (RSA) 144.0
  6. Alyssa Meyer (RSA) 175.0
  7. Danielle Visser (RSA) 210.0
  8. Credo Kasemiire (UGA) 512.0

Videos from Africa Continental Championships may be found here.

Feature image by Nathan McNeil/IFSC


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