McColl Stars in World Championships

Photo by Li Shu / Courtesy of

Photo by Li Shu / Courtesy of

Canadian Sean McColl made the finals in both lead climbing and bouldering at the World Championships in Qinghai, China — the only climber to achieve this remarkable feat. His 43rd place in speed, 6th place in bouldering and 5th place in lead gave him the most overall points and the title. However, no North American gained the podium in the biannual competitions’ three big events. Click here to see a photo gallery by Terry McColl of Sean climbing at the World Championships in China.

Spanish climber Patxi Usobiaga capped his remarkable career by winning men’s lead climbing after three second-place finishes at previous World Championships. Among the women, Austrian Johanna Ernst, last year’s World Cup winner, continued her dominance of lead climbing competition. 

Photo by Li Shu / Courtesy of

Photo by Li Shu / Courtesy of

In bouldering, Americans Alex Johnson and Lisa Rands both made the semifinals, with Johnson ending up in 10th and Rands 19th. American Daniel Woods made the semis in men’s bouldering, finishing 17th. Russian boulderers dominated the event, with Alexey Rubtsov and Yulia Abramchuk winning the men’s and women’s comps, respectively. No climbers from the U.S. competed in lead climbing or speed.  

The adult World Championships are held every two years. The World Youth championships will be held in late August in France. 

For full results, visit

Dates of Event: June 30-July 5, 2009 


Yulia Abramchuk. Photo by Anna Piunova /

Women’s Bouldering winner: Yulia Abramchuk of Russia. Photo by Anna Piunova /

Men’s Lead

1. Patxi Usobiaga (SPA)
2. Adam Ondra (CZE)
3. David Lama (AUT)
4. Sachi Amma (JAP)
5. Sean McColl (CAN)

Women’s Lead

1. Johanna Ernst (AUT)
2. Jain Kim (KOR)
3. Maja Vidmar (SLO)
4. Yuka Kobayashi (JAP)
5. Angela Eiter (AUT)

Men’s Bouldering

1. Alexey Rubtsov (RUS)
2. Rustam Gelmanov (RUS)
3. David Barrans (UK)
4. Guillaume Glairon Mondet (FRA)
5. Kilian Fischhuber (AUT)
6. Sean McColl (CAN)
17. Daniel Woods (USA)

20 year old Alexey Rubtsov of Russia — the Men’s Bouldering champion — began climbing only three years ago, after he entered the Moscow Aircraft University. Photo by Anna Piunova /

Women’s Bouldering

1. Yulia Abramchuk (RUS)
2. Olga Shalagina (UKR)
3. Anna Stöhr (AUT)
4. Mina Markovic (SLO)
5. Akiyo Noguchi (JAP)
10. Alex Johnson (USA)
19. Lisa Rands (USA)

Men Speed

1. Qixin Zhong (CHN)
2. Alexandr Nigmatulin (KAZ)
3. Ivan Novikov (RUS)
43. Sean McColl (CAN)

Women Speed

1. Cuilian He (CHN)
2. Cuifang He (CHN)
3. Chunhua Li (CHN) 

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