Adam Ondra - The Road to Tokyo: Success and Disaster

The World Championships in Hachioji took place last month and it was the first opportunity that climbers had to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. Undoubtedly, the biggest shock of the competition came in the men's combined qualification: Adam Ondra appeared to stand on a bolt. This meant that his Lead score was reduced to 10 and he was miles short of an Olympic qualification slot. 

Adam can still qualify for the Olympics, although his schedule has to change dramatically. He now needs to get some points from a speed competition in Xiamen, China, to be invited to the next combined event in Toulouse at the end of November. 

His fantastic ongoing series Road to Tokyo follows Adam throughout the World Championships and shines a light on the upset which took place.

10 Sep, 2019

There's a simple and ultimate solution. Legalise to stand on anything protruding from the wall except in-situ quickdraws. In other words, to stand on a bolt is perfectly legal as a rule, IF there is a bolt protruding from the wall (and, if a competitor gets injured due to a slip after standing on a bolt, the *organiser* must take a full responsibility and compensate for it, be it millions of pounds or whatever). That means the route should be set so that there is no bolts protruding a milli-metre from the wall – each bolt should be installed either behind the wall or in a covering resin structure, on which competitors can freely stand or may be practically obliged to stand in order to complete the route. Then, only the things that protrude from the wall or resin would be slings (and krabs at the rope end). It would be definitly possible as a design, except it is likely to be significantly more expensive than the current design in which many bolts ominously protrude from the wall. As far as the Olympic sport is concerned (bar fun competitions in local climbing walls), little additional cost shouldn't be a problem, should it?

I am terrybly sorry for the disaster and disappointment Adam Ondra AND any spectotors have experienced. That's not his fault, but I take it as a flaw in the rule (and design of the wall).

10 Sep, 2019

If you are going with investments on the walls:

make the slings reasonably slippery. make slits in the wall so that the slings disappear through the slits and connect to bolts behind the wall. allow contact between feet and slings.

10 Sep, 2019

Don't stand on bolt hangers. They are out. Simple.

Every kid that does climbing competitions knows this. Everyone who judges climbing competitions knows this. Sometimes people unintentionally step on a bolt hanger or on a wrong-coloured hold and if the judge sees it clearly enough to be certain they get pulled off.

There's always an element of luck in climbing and particularly lead climbing competitions and the two qualifier plus final system is actually designed to increase the luck element by making it all depend on the final route so it is more exciting.

10 Sep, 2019

I agree with much of that except the bit at the end. The twin qualifier plus final originally was a single qualifier plus final, so both qualifier and final were completely critical, but the second qualifier was added so as to reduce the chance of a single bad performance ruining someone's chances. It was first introduced in youth competitions as it was a very long way for many to travel to climb on just one route.

10 Sep, 2019

Best climber in world (which hardly anyone would argue against) wins the lead world champs 2019. Had won both lead and bouldering world cups previously. Climbed the hardest route in the world. Trained specially for the Olympics for a long time.

Doesn't make it because of a technicality

Olympic climbing really does sound weird.

Hopefully he does make it tho.

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