The first Olympic Qualifying event, the Hachioji Combined Championships, began this past weekend, August 18. Based on her results in the 2019 World Championships, Brooke Raboutou was the only female American to qualify for the Combined competition. Raboutou scored high enough in the Combined qualifiers round to become the first American to receive an invitation for Sport Climbing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The qualification rounds wrapped up early this morning and finals are yet to come. (Unlike the other disciplines, there are no semifinal rounds). Eight athletes move on to finals and the top seven will receive Olympic invites, but only one invite per country is allowed at this event— that, is except for Japan, who gets an extra invitation for being the host country. This extra spot is in addition to the seven invites, so eight athletes should receive invitations. In the women’s field, there are four Japanese climbers in the top eight, which means the invitations will extend to places eight, nine and ten. Raboutou qualified in ninth. Jessica Pilz (AUT), last year’s Lead World Champion, placed 10th.
The top eight finalists, in order, were Shauna Coxsey (GBR), Akiyo Noguchi (JPN), Janja Garnbret (SLO), Petra Klingler (SUI), Ai Mori (JPN), Fataba Ito (JPN), Aleksandra Miroslaw (POL) and Miho Nonaka (JPN). All non-Japanese athletes in the top eight are guaranteed an invitation. Only the top finishing Japanese athletes will also be guaranteed an invitation, while the host spot will be chosen by Japan. Japan and all other countries may earn one more invitation per gender at future Olympic qualifying events.
Among the field of qualifying women, Miroslaw (formerly Rudzińska) is the only speed specialist. Miroslaw won the Speed World Championship for the second time last Saturday. During the combined qualification rounds, Miroslaw placed 20th in lead, first in speed and 19th in bouldering. Because the combined format is scored by a multiplication of each result, Miroslaw’s first place in speed was heavily weighted.
Just last week, Garnbret, the favorite Olympic qualifier, became the first woman ever to win both the Bouldering and Lead disciplines at the same World Championships. The first person to do so was Adam Ondra in 2014. Garnbret placed fourth in the Combined qualification round and is guaranteed an Olympic invitation.
Among the Japanese climbers that moved onto finals, Noguchi is the most experienced and oldest competitor. At 30 years old, Noguchi placed second in the Overall 2019 Bouldering season and is currently 12th in Lead with three more 2019 World Cups remaining. Her compatriot Mori is 15 and is competing in her first Open season. Mori is currently ranked sixth for Lead and 20th for Bouldering. Ito, another strong contender for receiving the invitation, is ranked fourth in bouldering and 33rd in lead. Nonaka, who is currently in eighth for the Combined, has been injured most of the season. Last year, Nonaka placed third in Combined, behind Noguchi and Garnbret.
Women’s Combined finals start at 1:30 a.m. MST. A link to the livestream is below.
Unfortunately, neither of the two American men— Nathaniel Coleman and Drew Ruana— who competed in the Combined World Championships did well enough to receive Olympic invitations— just yet, at least.There are two more Olympic-qualifying opportunities— later this year and early in 2020.
The top eight male Combined climbers, in order, were Alex Megos (GER), Jakob Schubert (AUT), Tomoa Narasaki (JPN), Kokoro Fujii (JPN), Kai Harada (JPN), Rishat Khaibullin (KAZ), Meichi Narasaki (JPN), and Mickael Mawem (FRA). Because there are four Japanese climbers in the top seven, the invitations will extend to tenth place, which includes Ludovico Fossali (ITA) and Sean McColl (CAN).
Adam Ondra, the three-time Lead World Champion and 2014 Bouldering World Champion, will not receive an invitation. After a bad speed qualifying run and being appealed for stepping on a bolt in lead, Ondra finished the Combined competition in 18th.
Alex Megos, who recently placed second in the Lead World Championships, was on fire in the Combined Qualification rounds. He placed first in lead, first in bouldering and 17th in speed. Megos is well known for his hard outdoor ascents, including being the first climber to onsight 9a (5.14d). While he initially struggled to shift from real rock to plastic, he has finally found his footing among the other top competitors.
Schubert finished second in lead, just behind Megos , and came in second in bouldering and 15th in speed. Schubert won the 2018 Lead World Championships and ranked 10th in Bouldering this year.
Khaibullin and Fossali are both speed specialists. They took first and second in speed, respectively. Khaibullin did unexpectedly well in bouldering and lead—speed specialists often struggle in these disciplines—even beating Stefano Ghisolfi, the Italian lead climber who recently became the fourth person to climb 5.15c.
Tomoa Narasaki qualified in third ahead of his younger brother Meichi Narasaki, who placed seventh. In between the two Narasakis was Fujii in fourth and last year’s Bouldering Champion Harada in fifth. Of the four Japanese climbers, Tomoa is the favorite to receive an invitation. He won the Bouldering World Championships last week and he placed fourth in lead.
Men’s Combined Finals start on Wednesday at 1:30 a.m. Go to ifsc-climbing.org for the full results. Follow Gym Climber for more updates.
Feature Image by Eddie Fowke/IFSC
Tuesday, August 20th (Women’s Combined Finals)
16:30-16:55 JST (1:30 a.m. – 1:55 a.m. MST) Women Speed Finals
17:25-19:05 JST (2:25 a.m. – 4:05 a.m. MST) Bouldering Women Final
Approx. 19:35-20:15 JST (4:35 a.m. – 5:15 a.m. MST) Lead Women Final
Wednesday, August 21st (Men’s Combined Finals)
16:30-16:55 JST (1:30 a.m. – 1:55 a.m. MST) Men Speed Finals
17:25-19:05 JST (2:25 a.m. – 4:05 a.m. MST) Bouldering Men Final
Approx. 19:35-20:15 JST (4:35 a.m. – 5:15 a.m. MST) Lead Men Final