Adam Ondra has qualified for the 2020 Olympics! In an excellent display Adam Ondra took 1st in the Men's qualification round in Toulouse and secured his invitation to Tokyo in 2020. In the World Championships Ondra was penalised for allegedly stepping on a bolt and had his result dropped, meaning he didn't finish with an invite. However with this welcome news we get to see the best sport climber in the world compete in 2020.
The IFSC Combined Qualifier event that is on in Toulouse, France right now has two parts. The Qualification round - which just finished - takes the top eight into the Finals, which will take place on Saturday. The top six from the competition will get given invites to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Of the top eight, two were from Japan. Japan have already used all of their Olympic invitation spots so nice and neatly the remaining six who moved from the Qualification round to the Finals on Saturday all get invites.
Essentially the whole reason for competing in this competition was to get an Olympic invite. Really the hard work is done for most of these guys and the rest of the comp comes with less pressure - though it will still be amazing to watch. The top eight are listed below.
Top 8 Qualifiers - Who is invited to Tokyo 2020?
1st - Adam Ondra - Czech Republic - Invited
2nd - YuFei Pan - China - Invited
3rd - Alberto Ginés Lopéz - Spain - Invited
4th - Jan Hojer - Germany - Invited
5th - Bassa Mawem - France - Invited
6th - Kokoro Fujii - Japan - Not invited - Japan already have a full invite quota
7th - Nathaniel Coleman - USA - Invited
8th - Meichi Narasaki - Japan - Not invited - Japan already have a full invite quota
Full results here
Starting out with Speed the French climber Bassa Mawem took first with a brilliant 5.687 seconds. Bassa is definitely on track to become a world record holder and could well use the strong results he is getting to take an Olympic medal for France. Jan Hojer - normally known as a strong sport climber outside and indoor Bouldering champion - got a personal best of 6.456 and took third. Climbers normally strong in Lead and Bouldering - like Jan - that are able get their Speed results up have a very good chance at medals too.
In Bouldering Pan YuFei of China just edged out first and got his best result in this year's competition season. Adam Ondra looking very strong took second. Nathanial Coleman of USA got his best result of the three disciplines and took fourth which just got him the Olympic invite in the end. All the more reason for uninterested American climbers to care about 2020.
In the Lead event Stefano Ghisolfi topped out first, followed by three others - Sasha Lehman, Alberto Ginés Lopéz (who has been training with Ondra), and then Ondra. Jernej Kruder had a very unlucky turn when a hold pulled apart on the wall, dropping him early and then nearly hit him in the head. The hold was redone and he was given another chance but unfortunately finished just a little too low to get an invite.
Watch the highlights below of the multi discipline competition. The qualifications give China, Spain, and the Czech Republic their first Olympic invites, and fills France and Germany's male invite quota. France's two competitors on the male side are the incredible Mawem brothers - Check their insta here and great video on them here. The female results for the qualifying round of the IFSC Toulouse 2019 Combined Qualifier are here.
This event is a combined Speed, Lead, and Bouldering competition similar to the World Championship event format - which will be the same format as the Olympics in 2020. The Women's Qualifiers are running right now and you can watch them live here. Again, the top eight will qualify for the finals, and the top six of those eight will be invited to Tokyo in 2020.
It is interesting to see that Japan actually wanted to have more competitors get invited to this event, even though it was purely for Olympic qualification. It meant that Japan were guaranteed not to get another invite as they had already filled their quota. This meant two Japanese climbers - Kokoro Fujii and Meichi Narasaki - competed and worked really hard in this event for no prize or invite. It could well be that Japan are rethinking who they have invited using their invite spots and that climbers who think they have been given an invite from the World Championships results already, may not be given them.
Has Adam Ondra Qualified For The Olympics
Finally we can say - Yes! Adam Ondra's Olympic qualifying is big news, as many were very disappointed at the disqualification at the World Champs. Not seeing the best climber in the world climb in the Olympics when he has been specifically training for it and was obviously dominating in Lead was a huge problem. The IFSC Toulouse 2019 results are very welcome for people who had been shaking their head.
What 2020 Olympics Invites Are Left? IFSC Combined Continental Championships
This was an important round for Olympic hopefuls and was largely seen as the last real opportunity for climbers to qualify for the few remaining spots for Tokyo 2020. The last events for Olympic invites are the Continental Championships where only one place is available for each gender category, events below. Again if the top placed athlete's country has already filled their quota, the next highest placed athlete gets the invite instead.
Pan-American Championships - Los Angeles, USA - 24th Feb to 1st March 2020
African Championships - Cape Town, South Africa - 19th to 22nd March 2020
European Championships - Moscow, Russia - 21st to 28th March 2020
Oceania Championships - Sydney, Australia - 28th to 29th March, 2020
Asian Championships - Morioka, Japan - 27th April to 3rd May 2020
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Invite Confusion
As a comment - It has been very hard for members of the press, officials for each country's national federations, competitors, and fans alike to actually figure out how qualification works for each event. There is a great article here on the problems, and then just recently Japan filed a lawsuit about the selection process for the Toulouse event.
Confusion about the Toulouse event started when the intitial 20 athletes that were invited were changed, after IFSC changed the rule about invitation at the last minute. The rule that only 2 athletes per country could be invited was dropped.
This meant Japan gained back two invites in the Men's for Rei Sugimoto and Keita Dohi, and in the Women's both Margo Hayes for USA and Anouck Jaubert of France were given invites retrospectively. This also meant two people from each gender category who had already received an invite, were dropped. Four climbers - Iuliia Kaplina and Aleksei Rubstov of Russia, Jernej Kruder of of Slovenia, and Sandra Lettner of Austria were uninvited. This was received with shock and an appeal for a clarification on why, or a change back to original rules.
It looks like the IFSC then changed the number of invites up to 22 to allow the newly invited athletes to compete as well as the uninvited athletes to compete too. No explanation for this has been given but it seems like most are happy with the result as it shouldn't change Olympic invites even if climbers from countries who have already filled their quota place higher. A strange development and one that needs clarification.