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Kieran's climb to the top

Kieran Forrest is currently the number one British climber in the UK in his age category, and the ambitious teenager is already eyeing a place in the British Olympic team for Tokyo 2020.

The 16-year-old from Llanrug, near Caernarfon, credits his father Chris for his passion for the sport-which is set to be recognized as an official Olympic sport for the first time in Tokyo.

He first started climbing when he was just three-years-old at the Beacons Climbing Centre in Gwynedd. By nine he was competing competitively after being inspired by watching the Welsh Climbing Championships.

But to be a world class athlete is no easy task. Kieran who is ranked 14th in the world for the under 18 age group, gets up each day at 6am to do an hour’s training before leaving for school. After St David’s it’s straight to the climbing walls in Caernarfon for another two hours of training.

“I also train at St David’s as they have a bouldering room, which is great,” said Kieran.

“I’ve climbed all over Europe and my favourite places for climbing includes Kalymnos, Costa Blanca, El Chorro, Terradets, Mallorca and the Great Orme in Llandudno, which has some world renowned tricky climbs.

“I’ve been in the British climbing squad for around three to four years now, and the British Championships are coming up in Sheffield in a couple of weeks.

“A dream would be to get in the British Olympic team, if I don’t make it to Tokyo then there’s always Paris in 2024.”

“For me climbing is always interesting, the same climb is never the same something is always different and you always learn something new,” he added.

When asked if he had any scary experiences, the 16-year-old, said: “Once when I was in the Dolomites climbing with my dad, I was about 200m up, and I ended up hanging off with just one arm as a hand hold just dropped off.

“That was a very long minute, but I managed to calm myself and completed the climb.”


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