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Tom O’Halloran (AUS) Age: 28
The darkest of dark horses, Australian Tom O’Halloran has flown so far under the radar you’d virtually need ground penetrating radar to detect his history in the competition climbing world. Yet here we are announcing Tom as an Olympian, so how did this come about? After competing in youth events at a world level back in 2007, Tom turned his immense talents from plastic to the sandstone walls of Australia’s Blue Mountains.
Having started a career and a family, competition climbing was just about the furthest thing from Tom’s mind. Over the last decade, O'Halloran has established himself as the master of the Blue Mountains. He made the first repeat of Alex Megos's The Red Project, the first 9a in Australia, and made the first ascent of an Australian established 9a with Baker’s Dozen. Then climbing's debut at the Olympics was announced and the flame of competition was rekindled in O Halloran’s mind. As a youngster he had dreamed of being an Olympian, yet until now that path had never existed. Now that pathway was in place and he realised that this would be his chance.
IFSC Oceania Continental Championships: 1st place
Tom made a comeback to IFSC World Cups in 2019, looking to gauge his level and evaluate and overcome his weaknesses. After an unsuccessful attempt at qualifying in Hachioji, O'Halloran turned his focus to the IFSC Oceania Continental Championships in Sydney, yet with the frustrations and uncertainty of the COVID-19 situation, he almost walked away from his opportunity. Luckily for O'Halloran he persevered and showed fantastic consistency at the event by securing 2nd in each discipline on his way to 1st place and Olympic qualification.
O'Halloran is the second parent qualified for Tokyo, being the father of a young daughter called Audrey.
A lead specialist who also boulders strongly and is consistently in the low 7-second range in Speed, O'Halloran has the potential for a strong result in Tokyo, but against some of the best competition climbers in the world his relative lack of experience will probably count against him. We believe he could trouble the top 10 in the final rankings, but factoring in his inexperience in big competitions we have a prediction of 14th.