It is here!!!

Finally, after being postponed for a year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are happening and sport climbing (lead climbing / speed climbing / bouldering) will be part of the Games for the very first time, with Shauna Coxey representing Team GB.

How will it work?

Check out this video where climbing superstar Sasha Digiulian explains the introduction of climbing to the Olympic Games.

When will climbing be on and where can I watch it?

Dates: 23 July-8 August Venue: Tokyo, Japan
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button and online; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and BBC Sounds; Live text, video clips and highlights on the BBC Sport website and app.

Please be aware that the BBC have advised that their coverage will focus on the big medal moments during the Games. Also they will be restricted to showing just two live sports at the same time. The climbing finals clashing with athletics and hockey finals and as a result, they may not be able to show the sport climbing finals live and uninterrupted.

If you tune into the BBC, you can listen to GB Climbing athlete and Paris 2024 hopeful Molly Thompson-Smith providing commentary insight from the BBC studio in Manchester, joined by IFSC commentator, route setter and climbing wall manager Mike Langley and BBC snowsports presenter Ed Leigh.

Climbing Schedule (UK times)

Date Start time Event
Tuesday 3 August 09:00 Men's Combined, Speed Qualification
Tuesday 3 August 10:00 Men's Combined, Bouldering Qualification
Tuesday 3 August 13:10 Men's Combined, Lead Qualification
Wednesday 4 August 09:00 Women's Combined, Speed Qualification
Wednesday 4 August 10:00 Women's Combined, Bouldering Qualification
Wednesday 4 August 13:10 Women's Combined, Lead Qualification
Thursday 5 August 09:30 Men's Combined, Speed Final
Thursday 5 August 10:30 Men's Combined, Bouldering Final
Thursday 5 August 13:10 Men's Combined, Lead Final
Friday 6 August 09:30 Women's Combined, Speed Final
Friday 6 August 10:30 Women's Combined, Bouldering Final
Friday 6 August 13:10 Women's Combined, Lead Final
Please note: the schedule may be subject to change. The full Olympic schedule and results can be found here.

Who to watch

Go Shauna!!! Friday could see Shauna Coxsey (GBR) securing a medal after years of build-up to the Olympic debut of sport climbing. Based on recent performance, she is expected to excel in the speed and bouldering sections, meaning her success could depend on how she handles the lead climbing, which measures how far up a wall she can get. The big unknown is how she has recovered from a persistent back injury. Janja Garnbret (SLO) is widely expected to take gold at this stage.

Don't rule out host gold-winning potential too though with Miho Nokaka (JPN) and Akiyo Noguchi (JPN) both at the top of their game.

For the men, we will see the clash of two all-time greats and, at the same time, two starkly different styles, in that of Adam Ondra (CZE) and Tomoa Narasaki (JPN). Adam is a tall, technical outdoor climber who cut his teeth on some of the hardest sport routes in the world before transitioning to comps, whereas Tomoa is a shorter in stature indoor climber, known as a bit of a beta breaker. It will be interesting to see what style lends itself best to the Olympic format. Another favourite is Jakob Schubert (AUT).

Again, don't rule out more host nation potential with Kai Harada (JPN) and Alexander Megos (GER), both strong contenders.

Check out this great article by UK Climbing which looks at - What does it take to become an Olympic climber?

Photo credits:
Olympic Rings Header Image - taken by Matthew Fall at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena
Photo of Shauna Coxsey - provided by Adidas via Team GB

Want to try climbing?

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