Molly Thompson-Smith: British climber wins European bronze as Olympic dreams continue
Molly Thompson-Smith is a Sky Sports Scholar and is in Moscow for the European Championships fighting for medals and hoping to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 next summer
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 26/11/20 6:03pm
Molly Thompson-Smith became the first British woman to win a European climbing medal on Wednesday and boosted her hopes of making the Olympics.
The 23-year-old Sky Sports Scholar is under pressure this week in Moscow, dealing with rising concerns over the coronavirus in Russia and needing to perform to have any hope of being in Tokyo next summer.
Thompson-Smith stayed cool, though, to finish third in the Lead final after reaching a height of 31m.
Russia's Viktoriia Meshkova won gold with a faster time over 36m, while Czech climber Eliska Adamovska was second.
Thompson-Smith, who has battled back to fitness incredibly after major hand surgery three years ago, said: "I'm super happy with my performance here at the Europeans.
Well... last night was pretty cool! Big thanks to everyone for all the messages and support!❤️ Euro champs - Bronze!🥉— Molly Thompson-Smith (@Mollytheclimber) November 26, 2020
And of course a huge thanks to my sponsors for making training this year possible! @SkyScholarships @Gymshark @Petzl @PhDNutritionUK @ScarpaUK @gb_climbing 💜 pic.twitter.com/Cttg8u4krV
"With the year being full of uncertainty due to the pandemic, it was just a nice experience in itself to be out on the wall and trying hard again.
"There's definitely some room for improvement that I'll be thinking about for Friday's Lead round, but I can't be too disappointed with Britain's first female European medal.
"Training for the combined has meant I've had to sacrifice some training for Lead, so it was nice to see that my shape is still good and I'm even more psyched for next year's World Cup season!"
British team-mate Will Bosi and Thompson-Smith have competed in the individual disciplines of Boulder, Lead and Speed, before they represent GB in the Combined event on Friday.
Thompson-Smith was 25th in Speed and 14th in Boulder. Bosi was 14th and 15th in his respective events.
It is their final opportunity to qualify for the last two places at the postponed Tokyo Games in 2021.
Thomson-Smith's heroics have now given her a chance to be there with their scores for all three disciplines added together. The qualification rounds get under way on Friday with the final on Saturday.
There is one place up for grabs for women and one for men.
Many of Europe's top climbers refused to climb in Russia this week over health fears with Covid-19.