European Speed Olympic Qualifier Preview

Can Aleksandra Miroslaw win a second Olympic ticket?

Beatrice Colli (Italy) preparing herself before a qualification run at the World Championship in Bern.
Beatrice Colli (Italy) is one of the local favourites to perform at the event. © Lena Drapella/IFSC

The first Olympic Continental Qualifier event is tomorrow's European Speed event in Rome, Italy, where only the winners will receive an Olympic ticket.

The event is hosted outside in the Grand Stand Arena at Foro Italico University of Rome, the only Italian state university dedicated to sports and movement sciences.

Speed qualification will start at 12:00 on Friday, and the finals at 20:00 CEST (UTC+2) as long as the weather is good. The weather is expected to be 29C and sunny all day, so athletes will have good conditions.

The format will follow the standard Speed climbing format, with an 8-person final if fewer than 16 athletes participate.

29 Men and 18 Women are registered for the event, with countries restricted to 4 athletes. 10 countries are sending athletes to the event, with Poland, Ukraine, Germany and France sending the highest number of athletes.

The Favourites

The fastest registered male athlete is Ludovico Fossali (Italy), with a personal record of 5.18, 0.001 seconds faster than Pierre Rebreyend’s (France). Fossali dipped under 5.1 seconds at an Italian Speed Cup in April this year.

Ludovico Fossali congratulating Marcin Dzienski at the European Games in June 2023
Ludovico Fossali and Marcin Dzienski are two athletes to watch out for © Lena Drapella/IFSC

Ukrainian Yaroslav Tkach ran his fastest time at the World Championship in Bern at 5.25s.

Finally, do not count out Erik Noya Cardona (Spain), who has a PR of 5.282 or Bassa Mawem (France), the current Olympic Record holder, whose PR has dropped to 5.309.

In speed, it is not just how fast you are but also how you can cope with the pressure in the final. Mawem and Fossali have the highest placements this year in sixth, with Rebreyend and Noya Cardona in 8th.

Although the European Games podium of Lukas Knapps (Austria), Marceau Garnier (France) and Marcin Dzienski (Poland) do not have the fastest times, being able to keep a cool head is important, so don’t count them out.

Aleksandra Miroslaw just before a qualification run at the World Championship in Bern, 2023
Can Aleksandra Miroslaw win an Olympic ticket in Rome? © Lena Drapella/IFSC

The clear favourite on the women’s side is Aleksandra Miroslaw (Poland), who is faster than everyone else with a PR and World Record of 6.25.

Natalia Kalucka (Poland) is the next fastest with a PR of 6.453s, though Kalucka did beat Miroslaw at the European Games in Poland in June.

Aleksandra Kalucka (Poland) is the only athlete with a record under seven seconds, with a PR of 6.587.

Victoire Andrier (France) is the only non-Polish European athlete to reach the podium this season after winning a silver medal in Chamonix.

The Italian athletes Beatrice Colli and Giulia Randi will both want to put on a show for the home crowd. Colli will want to build on her Bronze medal at the European Games and 4th place in Villars and the Casalecchio Di Reno Continental Cup on 2 September.

★ ★ ★ Aleksandra Miroslaw
★ ★ Natalia Kalucka, Aleksandra Kalucka
Beatrice Colli, Victoire Andrier, Patrycja Chudziak
★ ★ ★ Ludovico Fossali, Pierre Rebreyend
★ ★ Erik Noya Cardona, Bassa Mawem
Guillaume Moro, Marcin Dzienski, Lukas Knapps


15 September 12:00 — Speed Qualification

15 September 20:00 — Speed Final

All times are UTC+2.

Where to Watch

You will be able to watch on

  • Eurosport Player within Europe,
  • ESPN Latin America and the Olympic Channel for Central and South America
  • TVRI in Indonesia
  • The IFSC YouTube Channel for other countries

You can catch up on the competition 24 hours afterwards on the Olympic Channel.

Updated 16th September: The article has been updated to reflect that the competition will follow the standard Speed climbing format, not the new Olympic format.

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