Sport Climbing Road To Paris: Shanghai Olympic Qualifier Series Preview

The Shanghai Skyline
Shanghai is the first of the Olympic Qualifier events. The second will be in Budapest, Hungary. © Unsplash

We are finally here.

The final path athletes can use to reach the 2024 Olympics begins tomorrow: the Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS).

This Olympic cycle is the first time the Olympic Qualifier Series will be used as a way to promote 4 new urban sports, Sport Climbing, BMX Freestyle, Breaking and Skateboarding, under the Olympic banner.

There are 38 Olympic tickets available through the Series for Sport Climbing across Speed and Boulder&Lead.

Shanghai will host the first event of the Series, and Budapest will host the second next month. Athletes win up to 50 points at each event to contribute to the Series, and the sum of the points from both events will decide who wins the Olympic Tickets. In case of a tie, athletes’ placement at the Budapest event will be used.

What Do I Need to Know?

Where Shanghai, China



  • 10:00 Boulder&Lead Boulder Qualifications


  • 09:30 Boulder&Lead Lead Qualification
  • 16:50 Speed Climbing Qualification


  • 09:30 Boulder&Lead Boulder Semi-Final
  • 13:30 Boulder&Lead Lead Semi-Final
  • 17:00 Speed Final


  • 10:00 Male Boulder&Lead Final (Boulder)
  • 12:05 Male Boulder&Lead Final (Lead)
  • 15:25 Female Boulder&Lead Final (Boulder)
  • 17:30 Female Boulder&Lead Final (Lead)

All times in China Time (UTC+8).

Where to Watch

You can watch each event live on the Olympic Channel. The finals will also be streamed live on the Olympic YouTube channel.

What is Going On?

Athletes will be competing in Speed and combined Boulder&Lead sport climbing disciplines, the same as at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

32 athletes per gender will participate in Speed climbing following the usual IFSC format. All athletes compete in a qualification round where each athlete gets two runs to post their fastest time. The fastest 16 will go through to the final round in a bracket format, where athletes compete head-to-head.

Ai Mori on the head wall at the IFSC Morioka combined World Cup test event
Ai Mori won the first Boulder&Lead test event in Morioka, Japan © Lena Drapella / IFSC

48 athletes per gender will compete in Boulder&Lead, the combined discipline at the Paris 2024 Olympics. The combined format uses a new scoring system with athletes scoring points for how high they get up each boulder and lead route.

In the Boulder round, Athletes compete across 4 boulders and can score up to 25 points per boulder. Athletes score five or ten points for the low and high zone on the boulder and 25 if they top it. Athletes have docked 0.1 points for each unsuccessful attempt to reach the scoring hold. So, an athlete who tops on their third attempt scores 24.8 points.

On the Lead route, athletes score points for each hold they reach in the top 40 holds of the route. The first ten are worth one point each, the next ten are worth two points, the next ten are worth three points, and the last 10 are worth four points each. An athlete’s score is the sum of all the holds they use. So, an athlete who gets to the hold 10 below the top scores 60 points.

Athletes score are out of 100 for each round, giving them a total score out of 200. Athletes are then ranked based on these scores and awarded points out of 50 towards the Series.

The top 20 athletes from qualification after both Boulder and Lead rounds will progress to the semi-final round. The top 8 from the semi-final round will progress to the final.

What Olympic Tickets are on offer?

The 68 Olympic tickets on offer breaks down as follows:

  • In Male Boulder&Lead, there are 10 OQS places, one Universality reallocation, and one host nation ticket. The host nation ticket will be reallocated if a French athlete finishes in the top 10 to win an OQS ticket.
  • In Female Boulder&Lead, there are 10 OQS places, one host nation reallocation, and 1 Universality ticket. Only Svana Bjarnson can win the Universality ticket by finishing in the top 36. Otherwise, the ticket will be reallocated to the next highest athlete. The host nation ticket was reallocated because Oriane Bertone has already qualified.
  • In Male Speed, there are five OQS, one host nation reallocated ticket, and one Universality reallocation. The host nation ticket was reallocated because Bassa Mawem has already qualified.
  • In Female Speed, there are five OQS, one Universality reallocation, and one host nation ticket for the top French female Speed Climber. The host nation ticket will be reallocated if a French athlete finishes in the top five to win an OQS ticket.

All of the Olympic tickets are subject to national country limits of two places per country per discipline and gender. This limit means that for some countries that already have athletes qualified, like Japan, the USA, and France, all of the athletes are competing for one ticket.

Who Should I Watch Out for?

Looking at the ranking from 2023 for qualifying for the OQS, the seeding for athletes in each discipline is

Male Speed

  1. Peng Wu (China)
  2. Leonardo Veddriq (Indonesia)
  3. Rishat Khabullin (Kazakhstan)
  4. Jun Yasukawa (Japan)
  5. Ryo Omasa (Japan)
  6. Euncheol Shin (South Korea) - Host ticket reallocation as Bassa Mawem (France) has already qualified.
  7. John Brosler (USA) - Universality ticket reallocated.

Female Speed

  1. Natalia Kalucka (Poland)
  2. Rajiah Sallsabillah (Indonesia)
  3. Di Niu (China)
  4. Jimin Jeong (South Korea)
  5. Capucine Viglione (France)
  6. Beatrice Colli (Italy) - Host ticket reallocation if a French athlete qualifies in the top five.
  7. Giulia Randi (Italy) - Universality ticket reallocated

Male Boulder&Lead

  1. Mejdi Schlack (France)
  2. Dohyun Lee (South Korea)
  3. Alexander Megos (Germany)
  4. Adam Ondra (Czechia)
  5. Sam Avezou (France)
  6. Yannick Flohé (Germany)
  7. Sascha Lehman (Switzerland)
  8. Alberto Ginés López (Spain)
  9. Jongwon Chon (South Korea)
  10. Hannes Van Duysen (Belgium)
  11. Yufei Pan (China) - Host ticket reallocated if a French athlete qualifies in the top 10.
  12. Simon Lorenzi (Belgium) - Universality ticket reallocated

Female Boulder&Lead

  1. Brooke Raboutou (USA)
  2. Miho Nonaka (Japan)
  3. Chaehyun Seo (South Korea)
  4. Jain Kim (South Korea)
  5. Vita Lukan (Slovenia)
  6. Hélène Janicot (France)
  7. Ayala Kerem (Israel)
  8. Hannah Meul (Germany)
  9. Staša Gejo (Serbia)
  10. Molly Thompson-Smith (Great Britain)
  11. Laura Rogora (Italy) - Host ticket reallocated.
  12. Svana Bjarnason or Zhilu Luo (China) if the Universality ticket is reallocated because Bjarnason does not finish in the top 36.

However, some athletes have surprised us this year at the past three World Cups. Zhilu Luo won her second Boulder World Cup medal in Keqiao and her first Lead World Cup medal in Wujiang in April. Erin McNeice reached her first finals in both Boulder and Lead in Keqiao and Wujiang. We also saw Hannes Van Duysen and Max Milne, both strong boulders, reach their first Lead final in Wujiang.

However, some athletes won’t be competing.

Jan-Luca Posch, who had a strong start to his bouldering season, will not be attending the OQS event in Shanghai after injuring his knee in the final of the Salt Lake City World Cup. He has undergone surgery on his meniscus and is hoping to return at the Innsbruck Boulder and Lead World Cup in June.

The USA has already filled its quota places for Female Speed, Emma Hunt and Piper Kelly, and Male Boulder&Lead, Jesse Gruper and Colin Duffy, so no other athletes from the USA will compete in Female Speed and Male Boulder&Lead.

Japan has also filled their quote spots for Male Boulder&Lead with Tomoa Narasaki and Sorato Anraku, so there will be no male Boulder&Lead athletes competing. Because they have fulfilled their quote spot, we will not see any of the other Japanese Boulder or Lead athletes, including Yoshiyuki Ogata, Meichi Narasaki, Taisei Homma, or Satone Yoshida, competing.

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