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The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) is happy to announce the allocation of the remaining two quota places that were due to be awarded at last year’s IFSC Asian Championships. South Korea’s Jongwon Chon and Chaehyun Seo complete the group of 40 athletes that will be competing in Sport Climbing at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Following the Sport Climbing Qualification System, the two South Korean climbers qualified via their respective placings in the Combined event at the IFSC Climbing World Championships Hachioji 2019 – where Seo finished 13th in the women’s event and Chon 20th in the men’s event.
“Today we have concluded our Qualification process: we know the names of our first Olympians and it is a great moment in our history!” commented IFSC President Marco Scolaris. “The 20 men and 20 women can now focus on Tokyo 2020 and inspire all people involved in the preparation of the Olympic Games, despite the challenges the pandemic has brought.”
“It is a real honour to receive such great news only one week after my official inauguration as President of the Korean Alpine Federation,” said recently elected KAF President Dr Joong-ho Son. “I would like to thank the IFSC and the IFSC Asian Council for their outstanding support in the last few months. My best wishes goes to Jongwon Chon and Chaehyun Seo for successful preparations in the upcoming months. We are delighted to have two of our climbers in the Olympic Games where Sport Climbing will make its historical debut.”
Chon, a 25-year-old climber from Seoul, has already won five World Cup gold medals in the Boulder event since 2015, and has participated in a total of 61 world cups and championships in his career.
The now 17-year-old Seo, successfully emerged as a World Cup medal contender during the 2019 season. At only 15 years old, she made her World Cup debut in Villars (SUI), winning silver in the Lead event. She went on to dominate the rest of the Lead season with four consecutive World Cup victories – in Chamonix (FRA), Briançon (FRA), Xiamen (CHN) and Inzai (JPN) – and the 2019 Lead World Cup trophy.
The allocation of the two quota places completes the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification journey that kicked off in Hachioji (JPN), and subsequently included the IFSC Combined Qualifier in Toulouse (FRA), and the 2020 IFSC continental championships in Los Angeles (USA), Moscow (RUS), Cape Town (RSA) and Sydney (AUS).
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad will take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan – Sport Climbing’s debut is scheduled from 3 to 6 August.
Feature image of Chaehyun Seo at the 2019 Hachioji Lead World Championships. Photo by Eddie Fowke/IFSC