Adam Ondra was in the qualifying round of the combined format of the 2019 World Climbing Championships in Tokyo yesterday. In lead climbing he stood on a bolt - according to the decision of the IFSC - and was punished accordingly. As a result, he did not make it to the final and missed the first opportunity for an Olympic ticket. We asked Adam Ondra for a statement about yesterday's competition.
Adam Ondra about the qualifying round of the combined format of the 2019 World Championships in Tokyo
“What else can I say… For sure, I feel a huge disappointment. The nomination for the Olympics was the number one priority at this World Championships, and even though I have achieved another great success, the World Champion title, it has a very bitter taste after all that has happened. I am sure that I still have a very good chance to nominate for the Olympics at the next qualifying competition, which will take place at the end of November in Toulouse, France. Unfortunately, I will have to change my training plans for the upcoming months. During the months of October and November, I was planning to focus on my weakest discipline, speed, but instead, I will have to prepare for Toulouse to insure potential Olympic qualification.
Yesterday was very mentally demanding, not only for me but for everyone else. My first and weakest discipline, speed, it was not a big success. I had two attempts where I made mistakes in both. But in the end, to finish twenty or seventeenth in this discipline, it would not play a big role in the result.
Perhaps the most important discipline, bouldering, was a very difficult competition for me. Most of the nominated competitors are very strong in bouldering. And in bouldering, anything can happen. We could see, for example, that Alexander Megos won this discipline, but whenever he got to the semi-finals this season, he did not show any good result. Also, Tomoa Narasaki “rescued” himself in the last boulder in the last seconds. I did three TOPS out of four possible and this guaranteed me the sixth place. It gave me a nice position for my favorite discipline – lead climbing.
I knew that If I occupy the third place, it will guarantee me a place in the Combined final. I felt physically very good during climbing and despite a little nervousness I managed to “run” all the way up quite comfortably. But at the end, when I had only a few holds left, my foot slipped off and I fell. I was very disappointed because I thought that this would not be enough for third place.
When I got down, I was told that I was in third place and I have a chance to nominate for the finals. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, there was a protest against me, because I stepped on the technical bolt. The situation was discussed a very long time, the protests and counter-protests were filed. The result was, unfortunately for me, that I was disqualified and I was given only ten points (according to the last hold before the given bolt). This meant the last or next-to-last place for me and clear failure without a nomination for the finals.
This video shows the moment when Adam Ondra was riding the Bolt according to IFSC
From my point of view, it was at least questionable, whether I really stood on the bolt or not. I have looked at different video shots from different angles. From what I saw, I couldn’t say for sure that I really stood on it or not. Of course, it is not easy for the referee to decide within a few minutes and I certainly do not take it personally. The decision was made and for me it means that I will have to go to the next qualifying competition and prepare very well for it. It will affect my preparation for the Olympics, but I hope it will not affect the fact of whether I go to the Olympics or not.”
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Credits: Title image Lukas Biba / AO Productions, Text Adam Ondra