Japan’s Dohi and Tanaka scale the heights

Japan’s Keita Dohi and Shuta Tanaka scored a memorable one-two as they took gold and silver respectively in the sport climbing men’s combined competition at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Wednesday 11 October. 

With the sport set to make its full Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, Dohi and Tanaka’s double could not been more timely, as sport climbing bade farewell to Buenos Aires 2018 following making an exciting maiden appearance on the Olympic stage.

The Japanese duo were the most consistent of the six finalists. Dohi placed second on the speed wall behind France’s Sam Avezou – the eventual bronze medallist – and then won the bouldering final and took third in the lead final. Meanwhile, Tanaka finished third on the bouldering wall and first on the lead wall to secure silver.

“I’m delighted with the result and I’m also happy because we created a good impression as a sport” said Dohi, who at one stage of the competition stopped his climb to urge the crowd for their support. “Sport climbing is going to be recognised in Japan. I hope everyone comes to see it at Tokyo 2020.” 

Tanaka was all smiles at his silver. Explaining Japan’s success in the event, he said: “The country’s greatest climbers have been helping us. They encourage us to try and improve every day. We want to reach the same level as them.”