NEWS

Olympic photographers comments

EDITORIAL

Monday, 2 August

Olympic photographers comments

Daniel Gajda is the official IFSC photographer. We asked him for some comments of his impressions and who has looked strong in the preparation, including in Speed. We also got a picture of Toma Narasaki.

"Everybody looks fit and prepared! Everybody seems very psyched to be here and ready to compete! I mean Janja and Tomoa look like they are absolutely dominant in bouldering. I believe Tomoa is running sub 6 seconds and Alberto is running a lot of sixes. Janja and Miho are both pretty speedy now as well"

Jon Glassberg, 8a member who has done 8C, reports also with pics through his Insta and we got some further comments.

"We have been at the wall every day and shooting the whole process. It’s amazing. It feels like a new era for climbing and a huge international celebration of our sport.

Pretty much everyone you would expect to be in good form is looking strong and most people have come a long way with speed climbing times. Lots of sub 8sec times in practice for the men very consistently and women were looking fast as well. Two Russians and 1 polish competitor did not attend training so we were not able to get a good read on them…

It’s really interesting since so much time has passed since qualifying for the Olympics in 2019 how people have handled an extra year of training and maintaining peak fitness. Some have injuries, some are looking very fit, overall it’s been a wild ride but very exciting to let the world in on how cool climbing is."

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Monday, 2 August

Time Schedule Men's Qualification 3/8

Speed: 10.00 Euro Time - 17.00 Tokyo Time (GMT+9)
Bouldering: 11.00 Euro Time - 18.00 Tokyo Time
Lead: 14.10 Euro Time - 21.10 Tokyo Time

Wednesday 4/8 - Women's qualification
The same schedule as above

IFSC has put together a list Where to watch Sport Climbing at the Olympic Games 2020

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Jade 8B+ by Katie Lamb

Sunday, 1 August

Jade 8B+ by Katie Lamb

Katie Lamb has repeated Daniel Woods’ Jade 8B+ in RMNP after some seven sessions and she is #4 in the female ranking game." I came to Colorado with weak fingers but a strong mind. I knew I could ramp with the moon cycle and then it would be my jah day on Jadé. So heppy! Holy shit. A final gift from the alpine. Battling another crimping testpiece with duke... special mems." The picture is from a screenshot from a video published on her Insta. (c) Duke Lettieri, who sent it a couple of days ago.

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 1 August

Speed PBs, WRs and false starts

Several of the Speed specialists have skipped all or most of the World Cups in 2021. Probably, they have never trained and focused on Speed as much as in the last year. At the same time, we have seen several male world records and very fast times by the females, and most have set PBs. When it comes to the lower-ranked in Lead and Bouldering, it is easiest and fastest to progress in Speed. Almost all guys have pushed their personal best to at least 6.5 seconds and for the females, many have done below 8.5 during practice.

On the other hand, making a false start on the first run means that you are disqualified also for the second run so most will make sure to wait more than 0.1 seconds after the signal before they start. If you start earlier than 0.1 seconds after the signal, you will automatically be disqualified. This is kind of strange as there is, as opposed to in for example running 100 meters or swimming, no randomness in when the signal comes. Instead, the starting signal has rhythmic pre-signals which make it possible to predict exactly when the signal is coming - hence, it should be feasible to climb before 0.1 seconds after the signal without cheating.

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 1 August

Olympic best-case scenario

Here are some examples of best-case scenario happenings that would showcase sport climbing and make also non-climbers watching future World Cup live-streaming.

Janja Garnbret doing a triple dyno in Bouldering swinging out facing the camera could become one of the highlights of the Olympic. This clip would be shown over and over again in television and would quickly get 10 million views on YouTube.

If she later in the final is the only female topping out, she could be crowned one of the very big stars in Tokyo, especially if she is Top-2 in Speed.

For the males, one best case scenario could be if the last climber out needs to Top out faster in order to win overall. Imagine Adam Ondra pushes hard and screams his way to the Top making some extreme knee-drops, and tops out one second faster.

In Speed, there will be new world records set in the qualification heat where two Speed specialists run neck on neck.

In bouldering, the setters create boulder where the climbers face the camera doing spectacular moves and the last guy out secure the win on the last boulder.

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 1 August

Speed is a key also in Lead

The big dilemma for the Lead route setters is that the audience, especially the non-climbers, want to see Tops. For climbers who top, however, ranking is decided by who climbed faster. From a fairness perspective, it is good that there will be no spectators at the venue, meaning that the climbers waiting will hopefully not know if the route was topped. In any case, most probably some Olympians will climb faster than normal as also ties earlier on the route will be ranked based on who reached the scoring fastest.

I have asked the chief route setter, Adam Pustelnik, if they have gotten any instructions from IFSC for how to deal with the “Tops/Ties” dilemma. Adam said, logically, that he cannot comment on internal matters.

I would say that we’ve already had combined competitions and we’ve experienced how it works, but from the route setting I would just repeat it’s not like 1+1. You can never know what will happen and it’s the athletes who are the key players here. They perform and showcase our sport. We try to prepare the stage for them the best we can. In general in Lead, we always try to have a good split between the competitors. As the nature of the job is that it’s hardly predictable, it’s not always that we arrive with such. But we always try our best.”

It should be mentioned that in the Combined Championships, the Olympic selection was often decided by who climbed fastest to the top.

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 1 August

Nonaka documentary

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EDITORIAL

Sunday, 1 August

How does Ondra train for competitions

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Great 36 min interview with Adam Ondra where he says Tomoa Narasaki is the favourite to win as he says he has no talent for Speed Climbing. Interestingly, Adam also says that he will not do any competition for a year after the Olympics as he has sacrificed so much only been training and being programmed for Tokyo for over two years.

Sunday, 1 August

Ondra - Tomoa is the favourite

Great 36 min interview with Adam Ondra where he says Tomoa Narasaki is the favourite to win as he says he has no talent for Speed Climbing. Interestingly, Adam also says that he will not do any competition for a year after the Olympics as he has sacrificed so much only been training and being programmed for Tokyo for over two years.

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EDITORIAL

Saturday, 31 July

Olympic Preconditions and Key Moments

The multiplication format creates dramatic preconditions for Climbing in the Olympics. After only some 30 minutes of the first qualification day, it will pretty much be decided who among the Speed specialists will be #4 or #5 in the final. Such an overall score, you will mathematically get by multiplying 1*20*20 in the qualification and 1*8*8. In theory, Tomoa Narasaki could beat all Speed specialists and if so, he will most certainly also win Speed in the final, creating a crucial advantage over Adam Ondra & Co.

It is expected that most Olympians will play it rather safe in the first Speed run as a false start means you are disqualified from doing a second run. On the other hand, especially the Speed specialists starting last will probably partly base their strategy on what is needed to be #1. directly from the first race.

When it comes to Bouldering, the starting order is probably set up by the reversed order to the qualification seeding, i.e. Narasaki and Janja Garnbret will start last. This is normally a disadvantage as the friction will deteriorate due to the chalk etc. Viktoria Meshkova starts #2 which is an advantage. Among the males, Colin Duffy starts as #3 and Adam Ondra as #10.

The biggest chance for an outsider to make good results occurs in bouldering. Sometimes the route setting benefits certain athletes and there is a bigger element of luck in bouldering compared to Speed and Lead. In the final, there will be only three boulders and thus many will score the same number of tops.

Finally, the uncertainties of the athletes' current shape must be mentioned. Almost all of the 40 Olympians have just done a limited number of comps, or none at all, in 2021. It would be sensational if any of these would take a medal as just training is not ideal preparation.

The biggest chances of creating a surprise are; Great Speed progress by Ondra, Coxey back in great shape in Bouldering, YueFei Pan progress in all three disciplines and of course any of the lower-ranked having focused on Speed challenging the specialists.

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