Sheffield University climber Jenny reaches two finals in World University Championships

Team GB climbers:    Second and third from the left on the back row are Jennifer Wood and Connor Byrne.  Front, from left, are Luke Dawson,  team manager Steve Cox from the University of Sheffield, and Billy Ridal  Photo: IFSC / Eddie Fowke
Team GB climbers: Second and third from the left on the back row are Jennifer Wood and Connor Byrne. Front, from left, are Luke Dawson, team manager Steve Cox from the University of Sheffield, and Billy Ridal Photo: IFSC / Eddie Fowke
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University of Sheffield climber Jennifer Wood reached two finals in the World University Championships in Shanghai, China.

Jennifer was one of four Sheffield students to make the 5,000-mile trip, accompanied by Hallamshire’s Billy Ridal, and Sheffield’s Luke Dawson and Connor Byrne.

More than 100 athletes from 17 countries took part in the five-day event which featured the three disciplines to be included in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: lead, speed and bouldering.

The first event was speed climbing, which saw Billy place 22nd with a time of 10.27 seconds. Connor followed in 30th and Luke in 32nd. The winner of the Men’s event was Russian Stanislac Kokorin, who scaled the wall in a quick 6.11 seconds.

In the women’s event, Jennifer placed 16th with a time of 17.06 seconds. The winner, Anna Brozek from Poland, hit the buzzer in just 8.57 seconds to take gold.

Jennifer followed with an impressive performance in lead climbing, reaching the hotly contested final and eventually placing seventh.

For the men, Connor topped the list for Team GB, placing 14th, followed by Billy in 17th and Luke in 22nd.

Jennifer again found herself in the final in the bouldering event against a strong international field, but struggled to find the top on any of the boulders, coming in fifth. The winner, World Cup competitor Fanny Gibert from France, was the only competitor to top two out of four boulders, showing the difficulty.

The men’s bouldering saw Billy just miss out on the final, placing seventh, after an almost flawless qualification round, followed by a well fought semi-final. Connor made the semi-final and eventually placed 16th, followed by Luke in 32nd.

Jenny said: “It was a five-day marathon. I was one of only two girls to make finals in all three disciplines but unfortunately my speed result let me down and I finished fourth overall.”