How to watch sport climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

20 men and 20 women will be honing their strength, agility and consistency as they bid to claim one of six sport climbing medals in the competition’s debut in Tokyo. 

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Sport climbing is one of four new sports debuting at Tokyo 2020, in 2021.

Following the success of other sport debutants surfing and skateboarding in the first week of the Games, the anticipation for the sport climbing combination event has been building.

Now the wait is finally over.

The sport climbing competition will begin on Tuesday 3 August. Launching it into action are the men who begin with their qualification round. The women's qualification rounds will begin the following day.

The event will combine three disciplines for a single set of medals, these are: speed, bouldering and lead. Every athlete will compete in all three disciplines and the medallists will be the ones with the overall lowest score in the end.

This a format unique for the Olympic Games; in World Cup competitions, athletes compete in these events separately. Meaning we might see one climber excel in one discipline and not necessarily another.

Medals for the men’s event will be handed out on Wednesday 5 August, and for the women’s, Thursday 6 August.

Sport Climbing disciplines at Tokyo 2020


The speed discipline demands an athlete climb up a 15-metre high wall, set at an angle of 95 degrees, as fast as possible.

Two athletes will go up against each other side-by-side and the winner is the one who reaches the top first to record the fastest time.


Athletes must try to climb a 4.5-metre wall as far as they can in four minutes while being unclipped. They are unable to practice on this wall in advance; asking the athlete therefore to be strategic and think their way through the climb.

A route is completed when the climber touches the final hold at the top with both hands.


Clipped into safety ropes, climbers have six minutes to climb a 15-metre wall. The winner is the one who attaches their rope to the top hold first, signalling the end of their climb.

Should competitors not reach the hold, or tie for the highest hold, then they are ranked by their time.

Competition Schedule

Event: Sport Climbing

Venue: Aomi Urban Sports Park
Days: Tuesday 3 August – Friday 6 August**

Tuesday 3 August

17:00 Men’s Combined, Speed Qualification

18:00 Men’s Combined, Bouldering Qualification

21:10 Men’s Combined, Lead Qualification

Wednesday 4 August

17:00 Women’s Combined, Speed Qualification

18:00 Women’s Combined, Bouldering Qualification

21:10 Women’s Combined, Lead Qualification

Thursday 5 August

17:30 Men’s Combined, Speed Final

18:30 Men’s Combined, Bouldering Final

21:10 Men’s Combined, Lead Final

Friday 6 August

17:30 Women’s Combined, Speed Final

18:30 Women’s Combined, Bouldering Final

21:10 Women’s Combined, Lead Final

How to watch sport climbing at Tokyo 2020

To find out where you can watch sport climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games click here.

Alternatively you can follow all the action live from the Games on our Live Blog here.


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