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Alex Megos (GER) Age: 26
As one of the world’s best rock climbers, Megos generally brings a different skillset and a more relaxed attitude to the competition circuit. Megos was a formidable youth competitor before turning his talents towards hard rock climbs, with two European Youth Lead Championship titles to his name and a clean sweep of a European Youth Lead Cup season in 2009. Whenever his name has cropped up on a senior IFSC startlist since his return to competing in 2017, people have been drawn to turning up or tuning-in to watch.
In 2018, Megos won Bronze in the Innsbruck Lead World Championships and went one better in Hachioji in 2019, winning a silver medal. Although not as consistent as some other competitors, Megos is also highly capable in Boulder, having won silver in the 2017 European Boulder Championships and – most crucially – ranked 1st in the Boulder qualification round at the Combined World Championships in Hachioji last year. Megos is perhaps the climber who will bring the most personality and individuality to the Games; he’s a true character who manages to bridge the gap between being a quirky rock-climbing dirtbag and a dedicated athlete, while still being very much the ‘part-timer’ of the circuit. His sharp wit and dry sense of humour will probably see him cracking jokes between climbs in Tokyo, while putting in a valiant fight on the wall.
Hachioji World Championships: 8th place
A dream Combined qualification round in Hachioji saw Megos top the scoreboard in both Boulder and Lead and qualify for the finals in 1st place, guaranteeing him an Olympic quota place. However, disaster struck in the Boulder final as he injured his finger and retired from the event. Despite affecting his seed placing, this minor injury won’t affect his preparation for the Olympics.
Megos is half Greek, eats carrots for power and his favourite colour is yellow.
Now that his focus will be almost entirely on the Olympics, we expect Megos’s Boulder and Speed capabilities to vastly improve. If he can beat Ondra to the #1 against his name in Lead and maintain a high rank in Boulder and a decent position in Speed, Megos is a strong contender for a top-10 position or even a top-8 final finish if he can dominate Boulder and Lead as he did in Hachioji Combined qualification.