The first of up to 90 New Zealand athletes to contest the third Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires next year has been selected.
The selection of Wellington Girls’ College climber Sarah Tetzlaff marks the first time that a New Zealand sport climbing athlete has ever been involved in the Olympic programme, with the discipline making its debut at the Youth Olympic Games before being contested at Tokyo 2020.
Tetzlaff says she's extremely proud to be named to the team, following a rapid rise within the sport.
“I didn't have a coach for at one point so I was planning and running all my trainings myself for quite a while,” she said.
"It was time consuming but well worth it. I love the sport as well, it's so creative and fun and I've met a lot of great people in this community as well."
Sarah has been climbing for five years and qualified by winning the combined U18 climbing competition at the Oceania Climbing Championships in Noumea, New Caledonia in October.
She saw off competition from Australian and New Caledonian climbers to place first in speed climbing, second in lead climbing and fifth in bouldering, giving her the overall highest placing in the combined disciplines.
Climbing New Zealand CEO David Sanders says the selection is the result of a tireless work ethic.
“We are absolutely delighted at both Sarah’s success at the Oceania’s and that she’s been selected for the Youth Olympic Games,” he said.
“She is an amazing climber but more than that she is dedicated to her climbing programme and to her sport. She’s made rapid improvements over the past year because of her dedication to her training.”
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to Sarah.
“I’m very pleased to welcome Sarah to the team and I know she’ll be working hard to be at her best next October. It’s a fantastic achievement to be selected so early in the piece and it’s come due to the determination and hard work she’s put in over a long period of time,” she said.
“The Youth Olympic Games are a great event and help athletes on the performance pathway to further success on the world stage”
The Youth Olympic Games will take place on 6–18 October 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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