Gergő Vályi, a 15-year-old Hungarian athlete has just become a European Youth Champion in sport climbing, which is debuting as an Olympic sport next year in Tokyo. The young sportsman outperformed athletes from the biggest climbing nations in the male youth lead category at the European Youth Championship, held between 18-20th October in Voronezh, Russia.
Three Hungarian climbers competed at the European Championships: Attila Radics, Nimród Tusnády, and Gergő Vályi took all in the youth B lead category. There were two events in total, the lead (difficulty) and speed climbing, according to the announcement of the Hungarian Mountain and Sport Climbing Association.
Vályi only competed in the lead category. This discipline, the most common type of sport climbing, resembles climbing on natural rocks, with competitors deciding how high they climb. The athletes usually climb a long, difficult route designed and set by the route setter and attempt to reach the top. All three of the Hungarians made it to the semifinals, where Vályi’s climb proved outstanding, as only he reached the top before the finals, which he went on to win.
The Hungarian athlete started climbing at the age of 7, and he had already won the Europa Cup series before the European Youth Championship.
Vályi’s European Champion title is considered the greatest success of Hungarian climbing yet, and is expected to become a serious player at the Olympics – however, due to his young age, not at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, but the 2024 Games.
featured photo: Russian Climbing Federation