Mickael Mawem heads up first-ever sport climbing Olympic final

The eight climbers that will contend the sport's maiden Olympic men's combined final have been confirmed after a thrilling day of action at Tokyo 2020.

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Mickael Mawem shocked the field to win sport climbing's maiden Olympic men's qualifying round on Tuesday (3 August).

The sport is making its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and climbers needed to finish in the top eight to qualify for the men's combined final on Friday (5 August).

Frenchman Mawem finished first on the speed wall, third in bouldering and 11th on the lead problem to take the overall top spot.

Highly-rated home hero Tomoa Narasaki finished second, while USA youngster Colin Duffy took third.

Austria's Jakob Schubert's sensational effort to win the lead secured the fourth qualifying spot, while Czech veteran Adam Ondra finished fifth. Sixth place went to Spain's energetic Alberto Gines.

Bassa Mawem started the day with an electric personal best to win the speed discipline. But with his place already confirmed in the final, he suffered a potentially serious bicep tendon injury on the lead wall. He is the seventh qualifier for the final, with the severity of his injury yet to be determined.

The eighth and final qualification spot went to United States climber Nathaniel Coleman.

READ: How to watch sport climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Explosive start

Sport climbing kicked off its historic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games in style as Bassa Mawem stormed to top spot in the speed discipline of men’s qualifying.

Each climber was given two attempts, with their fastest time deciding their ranking.

The Frenchman was fastest up the speed wall at a sunny Aomi Urban Sports Park, hitting the buzzer in what is automatically an Olympic record of 5.45 seconds.

Japan's Tomoa Narasaki finished second (5.94), with the leader's brother Mickael Mawem in third (5.95).

Bassa Mawem
Picture by Tsuyoshi Ueda - Pool

Mickael Mawem hits back in bouldering

Mickael Mawem caused a shock on the bouldering wall, completing three out of four problems.

The Frenchman was one of only two climbers to top out on the tricky problem two. The other was home hero Narasaki, who finished second.

After a lowly 18th-place finish in the speed, Czech veteran Adam Ondra showed glimpses of his potential to clinch third place.

Schubert seals shock lead win

Three-time lead world champion Ondra had been expected to win the third and final discipline, but could only manage fourth place.

Victory went to Jakob Schubert of Austria with a powerful and accurate climb, with the only other finisher Duffy sealing second. Third-pace went to Gines.

The eight qualifiers will next lock horns in the final on August 5.


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