The first senior 'Olympic' Combined event took place at the Innsbruck 2018 World Championships last weekend. Following multiple rounds of qualifiers, semi-finals and finals in the individual discipline competitions, the 6 top-scoring athletes across Speed, Boulder and Lead competed in a separate Combined final in one day, involving three rounds of Speed, a Boulder final and a Lead final.
I really enjoyed watching this, but, sadly, the first outing for the "Olympic format" revealed a weakness which many had always suspected would be there.
1. Speed specialists are a different breed, so don't fare well in the other two disciplines, and therefore don't make it to the final.
2. For non-speed specialists, i.e. everyone in the final, speed climbing is something of a lottery, as witnessed by the number of false starts and slips, notably in the women's event.
3. To a degree, the effect is like multiplying the bouldering and lead scores by a random number between one and six.
If this pattern is repeated in the Olympics themselves, I hope that the powers that be will be persuaded to separate the events at future games, rather than the alternative - to chuck climbing out altogether.