Kiwi pair aiming for summit

Julian David and Sarah Tetzlaff negotiate a climbing wall during the announcement in Mount...
Julian David and Sarah Tetzlaff negotiate a climbing wall during the announcement in Mount Maunganui yesterday of the New Zealand speed climbing team to compete at this year’s Paris Olympics. PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES
Julian David and Sarah Tetzlaff have become the first New Zealand climbers to be selected for an Olympic Games.

The two speed climbers were yesterday named in the New Zealand team for this year’s Paris Olympics at a function held at their training base in Tauranga.

The pair said they were thrilled to be selected.

"This means a huge amount to me," David, 19, said.

"I couldn’t be more excited and can’t wait for this great opportunity I’ve been selected for.

"I’ve dedicated my life to being the best athlete and speed climber I can be, because going to the Olympics is something I’ve dreamed of since I was 7."

David is the junior world champion and won the emerging talent award at this year’s Halberg Awards.

"Back when I was watching the 2012 London Olympic Games, I knew then that I really wanted to be an Olympian. I didn’t have any idea which sport, I just knew I wanted to be at the Olympics one day."

The pair last year competed in world cups around the globe before gaining their spots for Paris by winning their divisions at the Oceania qualification tournament in Melbourne late last year

Speed climbing is a form of sport climbing in which athletes compete for the fastest time to the top of the climbing wall. The competition takes place on a standardised 15m-high climbing wall, and the same holds and route are used each time for consistency across competition.

Climbing NZ high-performance director Rob Moore said a huge amount of work had gone into getting the athletes to this point.

"I am so incredibly proud of Sarah and Julian," Moore said.

"They have worked tirelessly, trusted the process and trusted me. It may be an individual sport, but we have definitely achieved this through teamwork. We have an incredible group of coaches and support staff around us and together we have all made this happen."

— Staff reporter