/ NEWS: Watch Live - IFSC Olympic Combined Qualifier Toulouse

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UKC News 27 Nov 2019

Starting tomorrow, 22 men and 22 women will compete across Speed, Boulder and Lead in Toulouse, France, to fill the next 12 Sport Climbing quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 6 quota places per sex will be contested by the athletes - many of whom are treating this IFSC Combined Qualifier event as their last chance to earn a ticket to Tokyo. Failure to do so this weekend would require an athlete to win their respective 2020 continental championship event, or at least be the highest placed not-yet-qualified climber, or be chosen for a Tripartite Commission spot.



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john arran 27 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Very disappointed to find out that we were literally minutes too late in getting tickets for this when we looked online last night. Great that it's all online though.

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Stegosaur 27 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC News:

>Since the 6 Japanese athletes competing in Toulouse are currently unable to qualify for an Olympic quota place (lawsuit pending) after Japan confirmed their full quota of two - Tomoa Narasaki and Kai Harada - following HachiojiI...

It's weird how you disregard the women in this sentence, given that the 6 competing Japanese athletes are 4 men and 2 women, and Japan has confirmed their full quota of four (two of each sex) with Tomoa, Kai, Miho, and Akiyo all going to the Olympics.

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Rad 27 Nov 2019

Let the games begin! Like many, I was a skeptic about the combined comps, but they are actually quite exciting as every stage matters. 

That said, it might be better for strong boulder and lead competitors to do poorly in the speed because they would do fewer races and could save valuable energy for their stronger disciplines. I doubt any athletes thinks like this, but maybe their coaches should consider this strategy. The scoring format favors those who do great in one event and poorly in the others (e.g. 1x20x20=400) rather than middle of the pack in all three (e.g. 10x10x10=1000).

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Graeme Alderson 27 Nov 2019
In reply to Rad:

> That said, it might be better for strong boulder and lead competitors to do poorly in the speed because they would do fewer races

Not correct. In the qualification round everyone has 2 runs.

In the finals everyone has the same number of races as we now have races to decide 7th/8th etc. This was introduced this year in the World Champs after the IOC decision to increase the number of finalists to 8.

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Rad 27 Nov 2019

Thanks for the clarification. That format makes more sense. 

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McHeath 28 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Looks as if helmets for both climber and belayer might not be a bad idea in the future! (Men's lead quali, 00:12:40)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbrXQ0rugJo

Edit: Link

Post edited at 18:23
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Charlie Boscoe 28 Nov 2019
In reply to john arran:

Happy to smuggle you in on my Media pass John!

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john arran 28 Nov 2019
In reply to Charlie Boscoe:

> Happy to smuggle you in on my Media pass John!

Aaagh! If only you'd said so earlier!

I'm out climbing tomorrow and have the great pleasure of playing with my young daughter all weekend, so unfortunately I won't be able to take you up on the very kind offer. But thanks hugely anyway.

Just finished catching up on the men's qualifier and the routesetters look to have done a spectacularly good job all around. Good job commentating too ;)

Cheers

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Vampire 30 Nov 2019
In reply to UKC News:

Why are the Japanese fielding so many climbers when we already know they can't qualify because Japan has hit it's 2 climber limit? Only reason I can think of is in case the 2 that have already qualified get injured between now and the Olympics.

It's turned the finals into a non-event as we already know who has qualified. It has also robbed some climbers of a second chance to improve in the finals. It is also a bit annoying as a viewer that something more sensible couldn't have been done here.

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In reply to Vampire:

Japan interpreted the selection criteria as meaning that they had flexibility in their second pick, being the host nation. They thought that they had one guaranteed spot no matter what, but this host spot only comes into play if they have no athletes at all qualified through the pathway, according to the IOC rules. Japan planned to see how many of their athletes could acheive the criteria for ranking places, then they would decide from this pool of eligible athletes who would take the second spots at a national event. The 2 per country quota is not what is being contested or misunderstood by Japan, just the process of how they can or cannot flexibly choose their second spot. They are not under the impression that they can take 3 athletes to Tokyo AFAIK.

These misunderstandings and differing interpretations are - from the information we have gathered - part of the lawsuit that the JMSCA has filed against the IFSC. It's unclear how this may or may not change things, but allowing the Japanese athletes to participate in further selection events until some sort of conclusion is reached seems like the safest option.

There is a UKC article linked in this piece about the lawsuit situation.

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Rad 01 Dec 2019

Fun men's finals. The route setters did a great job of separating people on every boulder and on the lead wall.

Interestingly, Ondra did exactly what I described above: skip the speed to save energy for the boulder and lead stages. He didn't register a time against Mawem, which makes sense because his chance of winning then was near zero, but he didn't come out to climb his other races either. In the end, it may have cost him gold. If he'd finished 6th instead of 8th in speed he would have beaten Fuji. Nonetheless, he achieved his goal of qualifying for the Olympics and perhaps saw this as a chance to experiment with an alternate strategy in a situation where his place on the podium doesn't matter that much. I wonder if he'll comment on this on his Road to Tokyo video next week. 

Finally, I was glad to see Fuji and Narasaki have a chance to compete. They showed the world that they stack up well against world's best. That's got to be better than sitting at home.

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jezb1 01 Dec 2019
In reply to Rad:

Thought Adam didn’t complete the speed due to being ill?

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JLS 02 Dec 2019
In reply to UKC News:

So was Futaba Ito under strict instruction from Team Japan to jump off the lead route early to gift Mia Krampl the Olympic place over Lucka Rakovec, effectively picking the Slovenian team for the Olympics? 😊

Unlucky Lucka was cruising through the comp until the wheels came off at that one stopper move!

Faster in speed and three tops to nil on boulder over Mia, to then be beaten by only half a move on lead and lose out on the Olympia spot seemed a little harsh.  Seemed like the format didn’t generate the correct result in this instance.

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john arran 02 Dec 2019
In reply to JLS:

Gaining such a huge advantage by coming first in a discipline definitely seems to skew the outcome compared to how well people are perceived to have done overall. Getting literally double the advantage from second place I think may be unprecedented in comparable sporting series.

For multi-discipline events, in gymnastics the overall score is simply the total of discipline scores so the difference can be very marginal. 3-day eventing is similarly based on summed performance rather than ranking points for position. In decathlon, the points system is also completely independent of the relative outcomes in each discipline.

Obviously, climbing doesn't lend itself (other than speed anyway) to such objective measures of performance and must rely on relative measures, hence ranking points, but even then simply multiplying ranking seems extreme. In the World Cup series the points difference between 1st and second is 100 - 80. In Formula 1 racing it's pretty similar (25 - 18).

If there are 20 climbers in Tokyo, the winner of each discipline in the qualifier will be guaranteed to make the final, even if they come last in the other two.

Anyone know another multi-discipline or series sport where the difference between first and second in any one discipline or event is so important?

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Arms Cliff 02 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> Gaining such a huge advantage by coming first in a discipline definitely seems to skew the outcome compared to how well people are perceived to have done overall. Getting literally double the advantage from second place I think may be unprecedented in comparable sporting series.

As a very wise sportsman once said ‘if you ain’t first, you’re last’ 😁

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Graeme Alderson 02 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

> If there are 20 climbers in Tokyo, the winner of each discipline in the qualifier will be guaranteed to make the final, even if they come last in the other two.

I don't think it is 'guaranteed' but we haven't had enough events to see the various scenarios. Just done a quick check. If the winner of speed is last in the other 2 disciplines they get 400. If last 8 in Speed are the 8 best in Boulder and in Lead but the orders are messed reversed (so winner of boulder was last in Speed) and then reversed again (so winner of lead was 8th in boulder but best of the 8 in Speed) then the winner of Speed will not be in the final!

But spare a thought for those of us tasked to find a method of combining only 2 disciplines, with the biggest criteria being making ties for the 2024 Combined gold impossible (NB: we are not yet confirmed for Paris but we have to start the prep)

Post edited at 15:06
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JLS 02 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

>"Gaining such a huge advantage by coming first in a discipline definitely seems to skew the outcome compared to how well people are perceived to have done overall."

The system has it's flaws but under the particular circumstances i.e. the speed being so different from lead and bouldering, I thought it works very well, at least giving the speed guys a sniff at a medal.

I was more disturbed by the way the lead climbing particularly in the womens final was reduced to a race against the clock.

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JLS 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

>"But spare a thought for those of us tasked to find a method of combining only 2 disciplines, with the biggest criteria being making ties for the 2024 Combined gold impossible"

Sounds easy... until you give it two miuntes thought.

But I will say... before using time to split ties in lead maybe first refer to boulder ranking...

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john arran 02 Dec 2019
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> I don't think it is 'guaranteed' but we haven't had enough events to see the various scenarios. Just done a quick check. If the winner of speed is last in the other 2 disciplines they get 400. If last 8 in Speed are the 8 best in Boulder and in Lead but the orders are messed reversed (so winner of boulder was last in Speed) and then reversed again (so winner of lead was 8th in boulder but best of the 8 in Speed) then the winner of Speed will not be in the final!

Yes, you're right. I was being a bit thick  

> But spare a thought for those of us tasked to find a method of combining only 2 disciplines, with the biggest criteria being making ties for the 2024 Combined gold impossible (NB: we are not yet confirmed for Paris but we have to start the prep)

Countback to qualifier rank

then height in final lead

then no. of final boulder tops

then no. of final boulder zones

then same again for qualifier if necessary

then final lead time

then qualifier lead time

;)

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Michael Hood 02 Dec 2019
In reply to john arran:

To absolutely guarantee being top 8, the person winning speed needs at least one 10th (or better) place in the other 2 disciplines and a sufficient result in the 3rd (which depends on how they did in the 2nd).

Calc done by presuming 2-9th in Speed get 1-8th in Boulder and Lead. Minimax of those 8 is 112 (2x8x7 if I've done it right), so speed champ needs 1x11x10 (or 1x10x11, 1x9x12 down to 1x5x20) to guarantee qualification.

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Vampire 02 Dec 2019
In reply to JLS:

> So was Futaba Ito under strict instruction from Team Japan to jump off the lead route early to gift Mia Krampl the Olympic place over Lucka Rakovec, effectively picking the Slovenian team for the Olympics? 😊

One of the reasons why the Japanese athletes shouldn't have been in this competition. I'm sure it wasn't deliberate, but their very presence has altered the qualification of other athletes.

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