The Austria Climbing federation has announced the launch of a livestreamed summer competition series as a stopgap ahead of the IFSC circuit restarting, in accordance with national COVID-19 regulations. Top athletes from Austria - including Olympic-qualified climbers Jakob Schubert and Jessy Pilz - will compete alongside a smaller Swiss and German national team contingent. Ten events are planned during a period spanning from this week (8/9 July) until September with livestreams of semi-finals and finals available online, featuring commentary from IFSC Commentator Charlie Boscoe and Austrian bouldering legend Anna Stöhr.
The Austria Climbing Summer Series 2020 will consist of ten competitions with three events in each individual discipline (lead, boulder and speed) and a final event in the Olympic combined format. The number of athletes per event will be around 25 women and 25 men.
The first six events of the Summer Series in July and August will be held without spectators, while the four remaining events in September might allow for spectators. The format of the competitions will also be different. For example, the female and male qualification and semi-final rounds will be held separately and not in parallel, thereby freeing up space on the competition wall so that the boulders can be set far enough apart to ensure a 2 metre distance between the athletes is attainable. The isolation zone will also be adapted to COVID-19 regulations.
'You could say that the Austrian Climbing Summer Series is not only a national, but also an international 're-start' for climbing events. We have worked exhaustedly on adapting the event so that it complies with the COVID-19 guidelines. We will then share our experiences with the global association and other national associations,' KVÖ sports manager, Michael Schöpf, explained.
The series will kick off on 8 and 9 July with a bouldering competition on the mobile World Championships wall from 2018 in Innsbruck. On 10 July, the first of the three speed competitions will take place in Kletterzentrum Innsbruck. One week later (15/16 July), the second bouldering competition and another speed competition (17 July) will take place.
The bouldering finals will both be broadcast live on ORF Sport+ (national TV channel). In addition, all semifinal and final rounds will be live streamed via YouTube on EpicTV. Live streaming starts at:
9 July: Semifinal Women 07:55 a.m. BST
Semifinal Men 11:55 a.m. BST
Final Women 04:00 p.m. BST
Final Men 07:15 p.m. BST
16 July: Semifinal Men 07:55 a.m. BST
Semifinal Women 11:55 a.m. BST
Final Men 04:00 p.m. BST
Final Women 07:15 p.m. BST
There will also be two lead competitions taking place in Imst on the 3rd and 6th of August and the grand final in September with bouldering, speed and lead disciplines and the Olympic combined competition in Innsbruck. The Austrian National Champion titles will also be up for grabs at this event. The exact dates depend on the IFSC's plans regarding the continuation of the World Cup in August.
Stay tuned for the livestream links, which we'll be sharing on Thursday.