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It’s time to compete sky high – announcing the 2023 Stairclimbing World Championships

The Abeno Harukas, Osaka, site of the Harukas Skyrun for the fifth time – this time – the Stairlclimbing World Championships. ©Florentyna_Leow

The International Skyrunning Federation presents the second edition of the Stairclimbing World Championships after last year’s successful launch in Dubai. This year the host venue moves to Osaka, Japan, with the Harukas Skyrun on November 19, 2023.

Athletes from around the world will gather here on one of Japan’s tallest buildings, the Abeno Harukas, the 300-metre high skyscraper hosting the event for the fifth time, presented by Meeting Inc, Stairclimbing Japan Circuit. Competitors will battle for medals and world titles in a lung-busting vertical challenge up the 1,610 steps to the observatory on the 59th floor of the building.

Shinichiro Okuno, President of Meeting Inc, stated, “We are very honoured to host the 2023 World Stairclimbing World Championships for the first time here in Japan’s landmark Abeno Harukas in Osaka. We are looking forward to seeing the world’s finest athletes running up the skyscraper staircase, setting records beyond the extraordinary.”

Japan’s Yuko Tateishi, third in the last edition of the Harukas Skyrun, Osaka. ©Sporting Republic

“I also hope that this event will serve as an opportunity to encourage many people to practise stair climbing of buildings and towers, promoting health and wellness to more individuals.”

The event has been a key stage of the ISF sanctioned Vertical World Circuit® (VWC) since 2017. Due to the pandemic the last edition was held in 2019 when 1,500 runners from more than 20 countries participated.

The records to beat for this gruelling ascent are 8’29” by Australian Mark Bourne (2019) and 10’14” for Japan’s Yuri Yoshizumi (2017).

Australian Mark Bourne on his way to a new record at the 2019 Harukas Skyrun. ©Sporting Republic

Since 2008, stairclimbing has been a discipline of the International Skyrunning Federation which governs, promotes and sanctions vertical running, whether at high altitude in the mountains or in city skyscrapers.

Marino GiacomettiISF President commented, “Japan is one of the most prominent countries in the world for skyrunning disciplines and athletes, both in the mountains and on the stairs, so I am very proud to announce this World Championship with our Member for Japan, Dai Matsumoto, and of course the organisers, the Stairclimbing Japan Circuit.

“We are looking to our fifty member countries to send new talent, young stars from our recent Youth and Continental Championships for this unique discipline – the indoor cousin of the Vertical Kilometer!”

The all-Japanese women’s podium at the first ever Stairclimbing World Championships in Dubai last year, with gold medallist Yuri Yoshizumi, Yuko Tateishi, silver and Airi Sawada, bronze.©Dubai Holding SkyRun

An open race, gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to the first three men and women to reach the observatory at 288 metres altitude, together with prestigious World Champion titles to the first male and female.

In 2022, Malaysian Wai Ching Soh and Yuri Yoshizumi from Japan were crowned ISF Stairclimbing World Champions. Japan’s Ryoji Watanabe took the silver medal and the entire women’s podium was Japanese – a strong message to the rest of the world of the hot competition Japan has in store for this year’s Championships on home ground.

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