The first Olympic Continental Qualifier event happens tomorrow in Rome, Italy, for the European Speed Climbers, where only the winners will get 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 a 8 person final if less 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 fastest male athlete registered is Ludovico Fossali (ITA), with a personal record (PR) of 5.18s, 0.001 seconds faster than Pierre Rebreyend’s (FRA). Ludovico dipped under 5.1 seconds at an Italian Speed Cup in April this year.
Ukrainian Yaroslav Tkach ran his fastest time at the World Championship in Bern at 5.25s.
Finally, do not count out Erik Noya Cardona (ESP), who has a PR of 5.282s or Bassa Mawem (FRA), the current Olympic Record holder, whose PR has dropped to 5.309s.
In speed, it is not just how fast you are but also how you can cope with the pressure in the final. Bassa Mawem and Ludovico Fossali have the highest placements this year in 6th, with Pierre Rebreyend and Erik Noya Cardona in 8th.
Although the European Games podium of Lukas Knapps (AUT), Marceau Garnier (FRA) and Marcin Dzienski (POL) do not have the fastest times, being able to keep a cool head is important, so don’t count them out.
On the women’s side, the clear favourite is Aleksandra Miroslaw (POL), who is faster than everyone else with a PR and World Record of 6.25s. Natalia Kalucka (POL) is the next fastest with a PR of 6.453s, though Natalia did beat Aleksandra Miroslaw at the European Games in Poland in June.
Aleksandra Kalucka (POL) is the only other athlete with a personal record under the 7-second mark, with a PR of 6.587s.
Victoire Andrier (FRA) 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. Beatrice 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.
- 15 September Speed Qualification 12:00
- 15 September Speed Final 20:00 - 21:00
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.