In August 2020 the Summer Olympics will take place in Tokyo, Japan. For the first time, climbing is part of the largest sporting event in the world. The competitions in the lead, bouldering and speed disciplines will take place from 4 to 7 August 2020. 20 female and 20 male athletes compete against each other in a combined competition format. You need to know this about competitions in sport climbing.

The sport climbing competitions take place in the Tokyo Bay Area at Aomi Urban Sports Park. The covered competition walls are set up on a huge asphalt surface. As at the World Championships in Innsbruck, there will be three parts of the wall in Tokyo: lead climbing, bouldering and speed climbing.

Background information on the competition walls

Nothing is left to chance at the Summer Olympics. The International Federation of Sport Climbing IFSC has the walls built by the French company Entre-Prises. In a 35-page document, the IFSC also recorded in detail which handles are used in the competitions.

There is still a yawning emptiness.

We want the same conditions for all athletes who will compete in the Tokyo Summer Olympics. That is why we have created a catalog that lists all handles that are used. This gives the athletes the opportunity to train on the grips.

Silvia Verdolini, IFSC Sports Director

For the Cataloge IFSC examined over 5 handles from 000 manufacturers. The manufacturer's handles, macros and volumes made it into the catalog CheetaeXpression holdsFlat Holdkilter,  Agripp, Xcult, Entre prizes and rock City.

This is what the stadium for the sports climbing competitions in Tokyo will look like.

These athletes compete

Most of the qualification for the Summer Olympics took place in the 2019 competition season. The following athletes have an Olympic ticket on the safe side (as of February 5, 2020).

Akiyo Noguchi (Japan)Adam Ondra (Czech Republic)
Aleksandra Miroslaw (Poland)Alberto Ginés Lopez (Spain)
Brooke Raboutou (United States)Alexander Megos. (Germany)
Iuliia Kaplina (Russia)Bassa Mawem (France)
Janja Garnbret (Slovenia)Jan Hojer (Germany)
Jessica mushroom (Austria)Kai Harada (Japan)
Julia Chanourdie (France)Ludovico Fossali (Italy)
Kyra Condie (United States)Mickael Mawem (France)
Laura Rogora (Italy)Nathaniel Coleman (United States)
Mia Krampl (Slovenia)Rishat Khaibullin (Kazakhstan)
Miho Nonaka (Japan)Sean McColl (Canada)
Petra Klingler (Schweiz)Tomoa Narasaki (Japan)
Shauna Coxsey (Great Britain)YuFei Pan (China)

A total of thirteen of the 20 coveted Olympic tickets were awarded at the World Championships in Hachioji and at the Olympic Qualification Event in Toulouse 2019. Five places will be awarded in spring 2020 at the continental championships in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and America. In addition, the host country Japan may send an athlete to the competitions without qualifications. Another athlete can take part in the summer games thanks to the diversity rule.

Petra Klingler represents Switzerland in all three disciplines
Petra Klingler represents Switzerland at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. (Image SAC /

The competitions take place on these days

The climbing competitions of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo will take place from August 4th to 7th, 2020.

Qualification men speed, bouldering and lead
Tuesday, August 4, 2020, 17.00:22.40 p.m. - XNUMX:XNUMX p.m. (Japan Standard Time)

Qualification women speed, bouldering and lead
Wednesday, August 5, 2020, 17.00:22.40 p.m. - XNUMX:XNUMX p.m. (Japan Standard Time)

Combined finals men, speed, bouldering and lead
Thursday, August 6, 2020, 17.30 p.m. - 22.20 p.m. (Japan Standard Time)

Combined final women, speed, bouldering and lead
Friday, August 7, 2020, 17.30 p.m. - 22.20 p.m. (Japan Standard Time)

This is how the competitions work

There will only be two rounds at the Tokyo Summer Games (qualification and final).

The first discipline of the Olympic combination format in climbing is speed. After a short break, the second discipline follows with bouldering. Finally, the athletes compete against each other in the lead (lead climbing) discipline.

The start list in bouldering corresponds to the reversed intermediate result (speed result). A round will be held among the six participants, which corresponds to the final of the single format bouldering.

Also in the third discipline, lead climbing, the start list results from the reversal of the intermediate result. In lead climbing, the rank results from the height (number of grips) that the athlete reaches.

The discipline Speed ​​in a combined format - Olympic Combined (picture Expa Pictures).
The speed climbing discipline is carried out on a standardized wall. (Picture Expa Pictures)

This is how the placements result

The ranking is determined using a points system. To create the ranking, the results (placement) from the three disciplines are multiplied. The fewer points that result, the better.

Example: Athlete A takes first place in the speed discipline, third in bouldering and fourth in the lead (1 x 3 x 4). He therefore has 12 points and beats athlete B, who is second in speed, first in bouldering and sixth in the lead (2 x 1 x 6) because he achieved a higher position in speed and in the lead.

You can find more details on the course of the competitions here

+ + +
Credits: Cover picture The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games