Clitheroe climber gets first senior call-up in senior Great Britain squad (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Clitheroe climber gets first senior call-up in senior Great Britain squad
CONNOR Byrne has become the first youth climber to break in to the senior Great Britain squad following a string of impressive performances – including retaining his own national title.
The Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil won the Britsh Lead Climbing Championship in the Youth A category at the new Awesome Walls venue in Sheffield.
The next day, the 17-year-old competed in the Senior British Lead Climbing Championship, hoping for a top 10 finish but ended up on the podium in third place.
He is now due to link up with the senior squad at a World Cup event in Kranj, Slovenia next month.
“Connor had an excellent weekend,” said mum Caroline. “He put in a strong and technical performance to take first place and retain his title in the Youth A event.”
In the first climb, all of the climbers topped the first vertical route so the pressure was on for the second climb – on the massive overhanging competition wall.
Connor and one other member of the GB team topped route so he qualified for the final in joint first place.
And following another near faultless climb, the former Bowland High School pupil was crowned champion for the second successive year.
But there was little chance to celebrate his victory as the next day he took part in the senior event – despite not being a senior climber for another two years.
Depsite being up against the defending champion and top professionals, Connor qualified for the final in fifth place.
“It was pretty daunting to be in isolation with the professionals,” said Connor. “But I had a quick look at the route and decided to climb it right up the middle. It was really challenging but a fun route.
“I was pretty pleased with my efforts getting well above half way.”
But it proved Connor rose to the challenge and only two other climbers bettered him as he took third place.
Connor thanked SportsAid, Lancashire Sport UCLan, Beyond Hope climbing and Whalley Physio for their continued support.
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