Shauna Coxsey took gold for the fourth time in succession in Chongqing. Photo: IFSC

Shauna Coxsey took gold for the fourth time in succession in Chongqing. Photo: IFSC

A British climber is on her way to becoming the bouldering world champion after her third successive gold medal in an international series.

Runcorn-based Shauna Coxsey won the third round of the bouldering world cup in Chongqing, China, this week.

If she continues her success, the 23-year-old will be the first Briton to claim the world title in the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s bouldering cup. Her latest victory came in hot and humid conditions, with all four Great Britain climbers making it through to the semi-finals, boosting the team’s ranking to second.

Bouldering and competition climbing action takes place on purpose-built structures up to 4m high. Bouldering is a form of climbing without ropes, typically practised on lower-level structures and boulders. Its proponents rely on power and technique, with intense moves and spectacular falls on to padded mats below.

Coxsey has excelled in the British competition climbing scene ever since she entered her first BMC youth climbing series at the age of seven.

Her top result is second overall in the 2013 and 2015 IFSC bouldering world cup and her recent trio of golds takes her medal tally to six gold, seven silver and six bronze medals in individual world cup events.

Only a handful of female bouldering athletes have won gold in four consecutive events, and Coxsey has joined this elite group, following three wins this season and one from last season. Her main rivals for the title are Melissa Le Neve of France, Miho Nonaka of Japan and Akiyo Noguchi also of Japan.

She said: “This round was hard. It was so hot and insanely humid.

“It really is hard to stay focused and motivated in these conditions. I’m so happy that I was able to remain composed and stay psyched. Akiyo kept the pressure on until the end so I had to keep it together if I wanted to win.”

Rob Adie, of the British Mountaineering Council, which supports and administrates the GB climbing team said: “The GB senior bouldering team is on a roll this year with Shauna Coxsey leading the charge with three gold medals so far this season and the rest of the team consistently making semi-finals.

“The team is currently ranked second overall which is the highest they have ever ranked. With the decision on climbing becoming an Olympic sport coming up in August the future is certainly bright for GB climbing.”

Shauna Coxsey in action in the latest world cup round. Photo: IFSC

Shauna Coxsey in action in the latest world cup round. Photo: IFSC

The International Olympic Committee will decide on 3 August whether sport climbing makes it into the 2020 Olympics.

Mark Glennie, GB bouldering team manager, said: “So far the season is going well, the team is performing well and it’s great to have so many of them getting through to finals this year.

“Shauna has started very strongly and it will be really interesting to see how she gets on in India and Austria over the next few weeks.”

The remaining events in the IFSC bouldering world cup events will take place in Mumbai, India, Innsbruck in Austria, Vail in the USA and Munich in Germany.

The GB team also has its sights on the annual IFSC climbing world championship in Paris on in September. The event featuring all the climbing disciplines of lead, bouldering, speed and paraclimbing.

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