Olympics Sport Climbing Qualification

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On Tuesday 3rd July 2020 Sport Climbing made its debut on the biggest stage in the world, the Olympic Games.


Men’s Combined Speed

Sport Climbings opening day saw the Men’s Combined Qualifications start with the newest element to the climbing competition scene, Speed Climbing. There has been a lot of controversy around Speed Climbing being included in the games, especially seeing as at Tokyo 2020, each category (Men and Women) will only receive 3 medals each, meaning all three disciplines are given an equal scoring, no one discipline more important than the others. Conventionally competition climbers have been boulders and or lead climbers, not speed climbers. This has meant that since the announcement of climbing entering the Olympic Games, athletes have had to split their focus not only across 3 different disciplines, but one of which was a completely new element for most athletes. Furthermore to this, is has also blown the sport wide open to a new type of climber, the speed climber. However, no matter what your view on Speed Climbing, it did not a disappoint! From the very first competitors, athletes were breaking their PB climb after climb, but the show was absolutely stolen by French athlete, Bassa Mawem setting the first ever Olympic Speed record, narrowly missing the World record, climbing 15m in a staggering time of 05:45 secs.

Men’s Combined Bouldering

There has been a lot of talk about the bouldering element of the Olympics, partly because GB route setter Percy Bishton is the Chief Setter, but also because bouldering has been building in popularity due to its accessibility over the past 5 years. So, how did Percy and the team do? Bloc 1 – a balancy slab climb, causing a lot of issues with the opening moves. Quite a few tops, but definitely not a gimme. Bloc 2 only had one top from French athlete Mickael Mawem, making it appear to be the more tricky of the 4 blocs. Bloc 3 was a tale of two halves, the first section was a dynamic coordination 1-2-3 move to a partially blind pocket. The athletes that made this open sequence, then had a very hard compression move to the finishing hold. Only a few athletes made this move, but USA’s Colin Duffy’s top is definitely one to watch back. Bloc 4 – the final bloc, started with an upside down, toe hook start, ending with a crack climb. Crack climbs have started to become a popular route setter’s choice as even though they have been in competitions for a number of years, and of course is a staple of traditional climbing, athletes still have issue’s with the technique. After a gruelling few hours of competing, Mickael Mawem joined his brother in taking first place in a qualification round, taking the top spot with 3 tops and 4 bonus in 5 attempts.

Mens Combined Lead

Heading into the final qualification round, it was anyone’s game but there were certainly a few ranked favourites, including Adam Ondra, Tomoa Narasaki and Alexander Megos. Even though these athletes did give mega performances, USA’s Colin Duffy & Austria’s Jakob Schubert gave the performances of the night taking the top spots, only split by time. It was during this event that the Speed Climbing winner, Bassa Mawen injured his bicep at the second clip, later causing him to pull out of the competition after qualifying for finals.

Rank Country Name Speed Points Bouldering Points Lead Points Total Points
1 (Q) FRA MAWEM Mickael 3 1 11 33
2 (Q) JPN NARASAKI Tomoa 2 2 14 56
3 (Q) USA DUFFY Colin 6 5 2 60
4 (Q) AUT SCHUBERT Jakob 12 7 1 84
5 (Q) CZE ONDRA Adam 18 3 4 216
6 (Q) ESP GINES LOPEZ Alberto 7 14 3 294
7 (Q) FRA MAWEM Bassa 1 18 20 360
8 (Q) USA COLEMAN Nathaniel 10 11 5 550
9 GER MEGOS Alexander 19 6 6 684
10 KOR CHON Jongwon 5 10 16 800
11 KAZ KHAIBULLIN Rishat 4 17 13 884
12 GER HOJER Jan 11 9 9 891
13 ROC RUBTSOV Aleksey 16 4 15 960
14 CHN PAN Yufei 20 8 7 1120
15 ITA PICCOLRUAZ Michael 8 13 12 1248
16 SA COSSER Christopher 9 16 10 1440
17 CAN McCOLL Sean 14 15 8 1680
18 JPN HARADA Kai 15 12 17 3060
19 ITA FOSSALI Ludovico 13 19.5 18 4563
20 AUS O’HALLORAN Tom 17 19.5 19 6298.5



Women’s Combined Speed

Now, to say we were excited about climbing being in this year’s Olympic games is an understatement, but to also have GB athlete Shauna Coxsey competing added even more excitement across the UK climbing community. After an incredible morning of Speed Climbing, Aleksandra Miroslaw took the top sport and set a new World Record with an incredible time of 06:97 secs. GB athlete Shauna Coxsey took 16th place getting a respectable time of 09:65 secs.

Sport Climbing Women’s Qualifications at the 2020 Olympics Tokyo, Japan.

Women’s Combined Bouldering

Again, there has been a lot of talk about the Women’s Bouldering event as although Shauna has won 2 Bouldering World cups, she has been returning from injury and the field is full of fierce competitors. Shauna did incredibly well, with 2 tops and 4 zones and although local athlete Akiyo Noguchi and USA’s Brooke Raboutou topped 3 blocs and gained 4 zones, nothing could beat Janja Garnbret who got a clean sweep, flashing all 4 blocs. To give a brief run-down of the blocs, Bloc 1 was again a balance start but with a low-percentage-dynamic-sidewards-jump that even the most seasoned athlete took a few attempts to latch. Bloc 2 was the power house problem between large side pulls and pinches, that Shauna Coxsey made very light work off. Bloc 3 visually looked pretty straight forward but with the heat, the humidity and the pressure only saw a few tops. Finally Bloc 4, caused almost every athlete problems with its tricky sequence on a severe overhang with minimal holds. At this point a top for Shauna would put her in a good place going into the final qualification round and making finals, however after making great progress on her first attempt, there wasn’t enough in the tank and she has to settle with a zone.

Sport Climbing Women’s Qualifications at the 2020 Olympics Tokyo, Japan.

Womens Combined Lead

So after such a strong bouldering round, and Janja being renowned as a favourite for the lead event, it was her round to lose. Shauna needed to place in 7th place or higher to make finals. Tension was high!!! The route appeared to be split into 3 sections. The first of which caused a few issues for the shorter climbers, who had problems with reaching, clipping and generally getting comfortable almost straight off the ground. The second section consisted of large pinches, with a very powerful undercut sequence this time causing issues across the field, only seeing 5 athletes make it past this point into the 3rd and final section. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see too much of this section as only Korean Chaehyun Seo managed to break her way through gaining hold 40, taking the lead in the lead and earning herself a place in the final. Janja also broke into the third section but slightly lower, gaining the 30th hold and her place in the finals in first position. Unfortunately GB’s Shauna Coxsey wasn’t able to get through the second section of pinches, gaining hold 21 and overall 10th place.

Sport Climbing Women’s Qualifications at the 2020 Olympics Tokyo, Japan.

It has been incredible to watch Shauna’s journey to the Olympics and although it’s not the result we would have liked for her, she has done Team GB proud!


Rank Country Name Speed Points Bouldering Points Lead Points Total Points
1 (Q) SLO GARNBRET Janja 14 1 4 56
2 (Q) KOR SEO Chaehyun 17 5 1 85
3 (Q) JPN NONAKA Miho 4 8 3 96
4 (Q) JPN NOGUCHI Akiyo 9 3 6 162
5 (Q) USA RABOUTOU Brooke 12 2 8 192
6 (Q) AUT PILZ Jessica 11 9 2 198
7 (Q) POL MIROSLAW Aleksandra 1 20 19 380
8 (Q) FRA JAUBERT Anouck 2 13 15 390
9 RUS MESHKOVA Viktoriia 15 6 5 450
10 GBR COXSEY Shauna 16 4 13 832
11 USA CONDIE Kyra 7 11 11 847
12 CHN SONG Yiling 3 19 18 1026
13 FRA CHANOURDIE Julia 8 15 9 1080
14 CAN YIP Alannah 6 16 12 1152
15 ITA ROGORA Laura 19 7 10 1330
16 SUI KLINGLER Petra 10 10 14 1400
17 RUS KAPLINA Iuliia 5 18 17 1530
18 SLO KRAMPL Mia 18 14 7 1764
19 AUS MACKENZIE Oceania 13 12 16 2496
20 RSA STERKENBURG Erin 20 17 20 6800


Next up, the finals!

@jonglassberg @louderthan11