After a controversial and hard fought battle that went down to the last minute - the latest Olympics invites have been won. Viktoriia Meshkova and Aleksei Rubtsov both took first in finals in their home country Russia.
IFSC Moscow - Europe Continental Championships - Men's Combined Results
In the Mens' Combined finals Aleksei Rubtsov took fifth in Speed, a well won first in Bouldering, and then fourth in Lead to take first overall.
Sascha Lehmann of Switzerland looked likely to take first place overall with fourth in Speed, third in Bouldering. At the lead final he was one of only three to top out with a really fast 2:31 time. Unless someone could beat this he would take first in Lead and first overall for the invite.
However, Yuval Shemla of Israel made an incredible run on the Lead wall without a single rest for a top in 2:20. This left him in first for the Lead final - leaving Sascha Lehmann in second place for both Lead and the Combined title.
IFSC Moscow - Europe Continental Championships - Women's Combined Results
In the Women's Combined Finals Viktoriia Meshkova took first overall with a really impressive day of events and a very strong rival in Stasa Gejo of Serbia. Victoriia placed second in Speed, sixth in Bouldering, and first in Lead. She was one of only two to top the wall and beat Eliska Adamovska of the Czech Republic by a full minute.
In similar fashion to Men's finals, if Eliska had beaten Viktoriia's time in Lead then Stasa would have taken first overall. The event really highlighted the last minute results nature of the Combined format scoring - plus the need for people to be very on the ball about how things work for good commentary.
Surprisingly Viktoriia actually had a positive test for COVID-19 a month back and went into isolation. According to her trainer talking to 8a.nu she only had a mild case and continued training alone. She'd tested negative multiple times before being allowed back to training in the gym and obviously before attending the event.
IFSC Moscow - Europe Continental Championships - Full Results
Men's Results - Speed / Boulder / Lead / Total Points
1 - Aleksei Rubstov - Russia - 5th / 1st / 4th - 20
2 - Sascha Lehmann - Switzerland - 4th / 3rd / 2nd - 24
3 - Sergei Luzhetskii - Russia - 2nd / 5th / 3rd - 30
4 - Nikolai Iarilovets - Russia - 3rd / 2nd / 6th - 36
5 - Yuval Shemla - Israel - 8th / 6th / 1st - 48
6 - Marcin Dzienski - Poland - 1st / 8th / 8th - 64
7 - Alex Khazanov - Israel - 7th / 4th / 7th - 196
8 - William Bosi - Great Britain - 6th / 7th / 5th - 210
Full scoring here
Women's Results - Speed / Boulder / Lead / Points Total
1 - Viktoriia Meshkova - Russia - 2nd / 6th / 1st - 12
2 - Stasa Gejo - Serbia - 3rd / 1st / 5th - 15
3 - Eliska Adamovska - Czech Republic - 8th / 4th / 2nd - 64
4 - Patrycja Chudziak - Poland - 1st / 8th / 8th - 64
5 - Chloe Caulier - Belgium - 5th / 2nd / 7th - 70
6 - Elena Krasovskaia - Russia - 4th / 3rd / 6th - 72
7 - Hannah Meul - Germany - 6th / 5th / 4th - 120
8 - Molly Thompson-Smith - Great Britain - 7th / 7th / 3rd - 147
Full scoring here
The IFSC Moscow event was two events bundled into one and took place over a full week of competition. First up there were three separate Speed, Lead, and Bouldering events for the European Championships. Winners of each event took medals for the IFSC circuit for each discipline but also qualified for the Combined event.
The Combined event was the IFSC Europe Continental Championships. The first Olympic Games to feature Sport Climbing is due to take place next year and a series of events were held for competitors to win invites, this was the Euro leg.
The first invitational was Hachioji 2019 where the same format of separate events followed by a Combined competition for invites was held. This was followed by the Toulouse Invitational. Both Hachioji and Toulouse were open to all countries. Next each "continent" was to have it's own event for a couple of places each - Asia, Pan-America, Oceania, Europe, and Africa.
Only the Pan-American continental took place before worldwide lock down started. After this the events were variously postponed or cancelled. The European event in Moscow has only just taken place after being postponed from March of this year.
IFSC Moscow Attendee Controversy
Holding an event where climbers,coaches, family, supporters, and events personnel would travel around Europe - during a pandemic - was never going to be straight forward. Though there are very strict testing and safety procedures in place, many didn't think holding the event was the thing thing to do.
Russia is going through yet another peak in cases and deaths with over 500 deaths and 25,000 new cases per day. Europe is going through another peak and many countries are going back into full or near total lock downs. France, Italy, Austria, and Spain all decided not to send competitors for their own safety and to avoid possibly adding to the spread of infection.
This meant some of the world's best and previous favorites for Olympic invites wouldn't be able to get their chance for the 2020 Olympics. Whether it was fair to hold an event during this time is up for debate. Other continents were due to take the highest place from previous events like Hachioji in 2019, which would have lead to very different invites.
New Speed Record
Previously in the event Iuliia Kaplina of Russia set a new Speed Climbing World Record. This was in the dedicated Speed event and Iuliaa didn't compete in the combined as she already has an invite to the 2020 Olympics Sport Climbing event.