|IFSC World Cup||Wins||Podiums|
Ludovico Fossali (ITA) Age: 28
One of the surprise packages from 2019, Fossali was one of the Speed climbers who took maximum advantage of the Combined scoring system, wherein an excellent ranking in one discipline is usually enough to secure a top-10 finish overall, even if you’re last in the other two disciplines. He is as close to an out-and-out Speed climber as any of the qualified Olympic men, but maximised his opportunities when they arose - a recurring theme throughout his career.
Until the Arco World Cup in 2017, Fossali was a good Speed climber, regularly making finals and claiming the occasional top-10 finish, but in his home World Cup he claimed his first podium and hasn’t looked back since. He won the very next competition - the Edinburgh World Cup - to claim his first senior victory and then in Hachioji 2019 he became Speed World Champion in a frankly messy but thoroughly entertaining final. Nobody would claim that in a clean run Fossali is faster than the Bassa Mawems and Reza Alipourshenas of this world, but being consistently in the right place at the right time is a useful skill, and one Fossali seems to have mastered.
Hachioji World Championships: 9th place
Fossali’s victory in the Hachioji Speed World Championships effectively qualified him for the Combined part of that competition. In the Combined he was second in Speed and then 20th in both Lead and Boulder, but that good result right at the start of the day was enough to net him 9th. That meant that he missed out on the final but with four Japanese climbers ahead of him, 9th proved to be enough to secure him an Olympic slot.
Fossali grew up less than 10 kilometres from Ferrari headquarters in Maranello…insert your own pun about speed here!
Much like Bassa Mawem and Rishat Khaibullin, Fossali’s only realistic chance of making the Olympic final is to win the Speed part of the qualification round. We’re backing Mawem for the Speed win, which will leave Fossali in the mid-field, out of the final.