Tokyo 2020 II: Climbing

Published in Climbing - 2 mins to read

Today was the first time sport climbing has appeared at the Olympics, with the men’s qualification events taking place. I was lucky enough to watch pretty much the whole thing, and it was a lot of fun - I think climbing makes a great Olympic sport. The route setting was great, the boulders seemed to be a perfect mix of styles at just about the right difficulty to split the pack, and the lead route saw a collection of early falls and a couple of athletes nearly reaching the top. I’m really excited to watch the women’s qualification round tomorrow and then the finals later in the week.

With that being said, the format is terrible. The scores being multiplicative, rather than additive, over the three disciplines doesn’t seem fair at all to me, given that someone qualified for the finals by winning the speed event, coming last in lead and third-to-last in bouldering - not exactly a well-rounded performance. I know the format is being changed for Paris 2024 and all three will be treated as separate events with their own medals, but I wish they’d done that for Tokyo - no other climbing competition has this format, so it’s the opposite of tried-and-tested, so why use it?

From the qualified men I think I’ll be rooting for Tomoa Narasaki and the two American climbers, and tomorrow I’ll be cheering on Britain’s Shauna Coxsey as she hopefully sails through qualifying. And I’m sure the whole thing will be great motivation to spend as much time in the gym as I can over the next few weeks, so maybe I can get some sick sends of my own.

See other posts in the Tokyo 2020 series