In a nail biting event, Ai Mori of Japan took first place in the IFSC Combined Qualifiers in Toulouse today. This event is massively important as the top six in the rankings overall will receive invites to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Though Ai Mori took first, as Japan have already filled their invite quota she didn't get an invite - though that may change as Japan are in theory able to re-arrange who they invite. It also means that almost everyone that goes through to finals is guaranteed an Olympic invite.
Who Is Invited To 2020 Olympics
The top nine in the IFSC Toulouse 2019 Qualifiers are below so we can show who qualified. Both Ai Mori and Futaba Ito of Japan don't get invited as Japan have a full quota. Lucka Rakovec and Mia Krampl is explained below. This means five climbers - Laura Rogora of Italy, Julie Chanourdie of France, Iuliia Kaplina of Russia (again see further below for explanation), Kyra Condie for the USA, and YiLing Song of China will be invited to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The Top 8 will move forward into the finals on Sunday to decide finals placings, but apart from the Slovenian's, everyone else below in bold will get an Olympic invite because of the Japanese climbers exclusion. Results below.
1st - Ai Mori - Japan - Not invited - Japan already have a full invite quota
2nd - Lucka Rakovec - Slovenia - Must place higher than Mia Krampl in Sunday Finals to get invite
3rd - Mia Krampl - Slovenia - Must place higher than Lucka Rakovec in Sunday Finals to get invite
4th - Laura Rogora - Italy - Invited
5th - Futaba Ito - Japan - Not invited - Japan already have a full invite quota
6th - Julia Chanourdie - France - Invited
7th - Iuliia Kaplina - Russia - Invited IF Russia not banned from 2020 Olympics
8th - Kyra Condie - USA - Invited
9th - YiLing Song - China - Invited
Full results here
Slovenian Climbers Must Face Off In Sunday's Finals
The incredible competition doesn't end there as the Finals will take place on Sunday in Toulouse, France. You can watch the finals for Men on Saturday and Women on Sunday live here. In this competition the real importance was the Qualifiers because of Japan's expectation to finish so high, but the drama doesn't finish there for two Slovenian climbers. Lucka Rakovec and Mia Krampl qualified in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Top Olympic hopeful Janja Garnbret took one of Slovenia's invites already and didn't need to compete in this even. As the rules state, the highest placing of these two in the Finals will be the one who gains the invite. A real nail biter is now set for Sunday's Finals.
Now as well as Japan and Slovenia, the USA have all filled their quota for Olympic invitees. This leaves just the IFSC Combined Continental Championships for qualification, see further below for the remaining events. Highlights video below.
Climbing for the USA Kyra Condie has gained an invite and will join her team-mate Brooke Rabatou who earned her place in the IFSC Climbing World Championships combined event earlier this year. YiLing Song just managed to get the final place invite. YiLing is most notable for breaking the Female Speed Climbing World record recently, which was just again broken by Aries Susanti Rahayu six months later.
Will Russian Climbers Be Banned From 2020 Olympics?
Iuliia Kaplina is the only Russian that has so far gained an Olympic invitation. It seems shockingly likely that all Russian athletes may be banned from competing in the 2020 Olympics. Essentially the Russian anti-doping agency has been found to have falsified some of it's doping testing after a major investigation took place in the past few years.
Since then they were forced to hand over all data from their main Moscow laboratory in order to be allowed to even continue talks about competing. This data has now been seen to show "inconsistencies" and the Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) have just given three weeks for Russia to explain them. It seems likely a large portion of Russia athletes will face a blanket ban for the 2020 summer games and possibly the 2022 winter games.
There had been exceptions to recent World Athletics Championships games where individual athletes had to conform to strict rules and testing and then were allowed to qualify. Please note we in no way way believe any Russia climber is doping. While it seems an open secret that many Russian Olympians in track and field and weightlifting categories (where Russia has traditionally done well) have doped, we don't think Climbing falls under the same scrutiny in terms of pressure to win. We also believe in Iuliia Kaplina and other Russian climbers' earnest work to compete to their best natural ability.
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.
As the USA have filled their quota it is very likely that a Canadian - probably Alannah Yip who finished in 13th today - could still get the Pan-American ticket. Fanny Gibert of France finished in 10th, just one place away from an invite so the Euro championships are her last chance, similarly for Anouck Jaubert of France. Jain Kim of South Korea is very likely for the Asian championships with Japan's quota totally full.
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
See here for the full men's Toulouse IFSC Combined Qualifier results.