Coxsey not settling for second best in pursuit of Tokyo 2020 glory

Yahoo Sport UK
Shauna Coxsey in action (Credit: Jake Thompson/Red Bull Content Pool)
Shauna Coxsey in action (Credit: Jake Thompson/Red Bull Content Pool)

‘Faster, higher, stronger’ – that’s the Games motto Shauna Coxsey will be living by day and night in her pursuit of perfection ahead of her Olympic debut this summer.

Tokyo is calling the 27-year-old climber, who was inspired to take up the sport at age of three after watching a documentary on French rock climber Catherine Destivelle.

Like her hero growing up, Coxsey has become used to being a trailblazer and she will break the mould again after being officially unveiled as the first sport climber to be selected for Team GB.

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But becoming the 20th athlete to book their place on the plane to Tokyo is just the start for Coxsey, who will be taking inspiration from the Olympic motto in the coming months.

“What I hope to achieve is to get to the Games feeling fitter, healthier and as psyched as possible,” the five-time British champion explained.

“For me if I can get to the Games feeling really good that’s my biggest goal. At the first selection event I managed to get a bronze medal and I wasn’t in the shape that I wanted to be.

“I know I can be fitter, faster, stronger which is the Olympic motto, which embodies what our sport is as well, so that’s what we’re really working towards right now.”

Sport climbing will make its debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo when the three disciplines of bouldering, speed climbing and lead climbing have been combined.

At the 2019 Climbing World Championships, Coxsey secured bronze medals in the bouldering and combined events while she is also a two-time overall World Cup winner in her favoured bouldering discipline.

And the Runcorn star is now relishing the chance to compete on the most illustrious stage of them all, having previously written off her chances of ever becoming an Olympian.

“It’s really crazy to be standing here and talking about being part of it because for so much of my climbing life, I never expected the Games would be even an option,” she continued.

“It’s really exciting and I’m so absorbed in training right now because we’re in that phase. It seems a little strange to think about the Games because it feels like a long way away but it’s definitely not!

“I love competing. I love training and it’s just a privilege to be part of it all.”

Coxsey’s preparations for Tokyo were thrown a curveball when she underwent knee surgery in December – but she insists she is in the best place heading into the biggest summer of her life.

“Training right now is really intense and we’re in the middle of a really intense phase before the competitive season starts,” she added.

“I had knee surgery a couple of months back so I did a lot of work rehabbing that and a lot of work on my upper body while I was out with the lower body stuff.

“My legs are now stronger than they have ever been and I feel really good on the wall.

“I do a lot of training on the wall, across wall through the three disciplines: bouldering, lead climbing and speed, and work in the gym as well.

“It’s intense but I wouldn’t change it and I really enjoy that.”

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