Olympic Climbing Latest Updates: Adam Ondra Isn’t Doing Well


TOKYO — In sport climbing’s first appearance at the Olympics, the men’s final is underway, and the man considered the world’s best climber ranks sixth after two of the three disciplines.

Adam Ondra from the Czech Republic has climbed the toughest outdoor climbing routes ever attempted around the world. Indoors, on mock barriers and hatches, he has won a number of world championships and World Cup events.

But in climbing’s Olympic debut, the different disciplines were combined into a single medal event, and Ondra didn’t fare well after the first two. The athletes’ standings in the three disciplines will be multiplied together and the climber with the lowest total will be the winner.

Ondra started his speed lap with a pleasant surprise. In the final race of the lap – possibly his last speed race – he put his personal best of 6.86, a near-perfect result for him. Out of eight competing in the final, he unexpectedly finished fourth.

But whatever his advantage in speed, Ondra gave up in bouldering, an event where he was a former world champion. Stunned by the second boulder problem, it required a kind of two-step, running to a small barn, then a strange pure power lift up the hill. Most could make it halfway through, which is fine for a “district”, but Ondra couldn’t. He scored no points and finished a staggering sixth in the rock discipline.

This makes him sixth in the competition, and he enters his best event, the leader discipline. But even first place may not be enough for a medal.

Nathaniel Coleman of the United States won the rock event and is third in front of the lead. French Mickael Mawem is in first place, but his weakest event is leadership. In second place is Japanese Tomoa Narasaki, who is second in both speed and rock and may be in the best position to claim gold.


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