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There was a lot of confusion at the end of yesterday’s Olympic qualifying round. France’s Bassa Mawem, who had looked phenomenal in winning the round’s Speed portion in the men’s division, fell from the wall in the Lead portion and doubled over in pain. He grabbed his bicep, but that was where any certainty ended. The event’s commentator wondered if it was a horrific injury—perhaps a torn muscle—or just a cramp.
While questions about the injury continued to pile up, and while other competitors took their own Lead attempts in that qualifying round, there were also new questions about Bassa Mawem’s ranking in the men’s Olympic field. The Czech Republic’s Adam Ondra climbed. Then South Korea’s Jongwon Chon climbed. Then Italy’s Michael Piccolruaz. By the round’s end, it was clear that Bassa Mawem—even with the unfortunate bicep situation—had advanced into the finals by points (in seventh place, to be exact)…but would he even be able to compete in the finals given how bad the injury seemed?