Do You Qualify for the Olympics – Rock Climbing 2020 in Tokyo

There are new sports in town for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. In the 2016 decision, Rock climbing was one of the five new events (baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, surfing, & climbing) reported by It was believed that these events were chosen to attract more interests among young audiences.

Tokyo 2020 - olympic logos

The climbing event will include Sport, Bouldering, and Speed. With the three different disciplines, some people feel that the events are on an even playing field for athletes who are non-professional as well as professionals. Please visit my article on “Next Summer Olympics 2020 – Rock Climbing is Now Included” for the different perspectives and the details on the competition formats. Perhaps, you may be interested… Do you qualify for the Olympics?

There will be two categories: women and men with 20 available spots in each category with a maximum of 40 (20 men and 20 women). Each country will have a quota of two athletes per gender.

According to The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), there will be four different pathways to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. All dates to each pathway qualification are still being determined at this time.

Pathway 1

The first pathway is the IFSC Combined World Championship 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Six highest placed athletes per gender will occupy six available spots.

Climbing World Championship 2018 boulder final

Pathway 2

The second pathway is the Overal World Cup Winner, 2019. The highest placed athlete per gender will obtain a spot in the qualification.

Climbing World Championships 2018

Pathway 3

The third pathway is at the Olympic Qualifying Event 2019 in Toulouse, France. The first twenty highest-ranked athletes per gender of the Overall World Cup Ranking who not yet qualified through pathways 1 or 2 will be participating in the Olympic Qualifying Event. The highest six placed athletes per gender from the Olympic Qualifying Event will occupy another six available spots.

Climbing World Championships 2018

Pathway 4

The fourth pathway is the IFSC combined Continental Championship (CCH) 2020. The highest placed athletes at each of the Continental Championships will obtain 1 slot per gender respecting the quota per country. Each of the CCH is sanctioned by IFSC:

  1. Africa
  2. Asia
  3. Europe
  4. Pan-Am
  5. OceaniaEdinburgh International Climbing Arena

If the highest-ranked athlete has obtained a place through the first three pathways, then the next best-ranked athlete will be qualified for the spot. There should be a total of five occupied spots.

Special Invitations

There are two left available spots of each gender reserved as special invitations for the host country and the Tripartite Commission Invitation Place.

The Host Country and the Tripartite Commission Invitation Place are guaranteed a spot per gender with the condition that the athletes meet the eligibility requirements stated by the IFSC – Olympic Qualification:

  • Hold a valid International license issued by the IFSC for the Olympic Games year at the date of the final entries (deadline (July 6, 2020)
  • Not have been banned from participating in any IFSC competition for whatever reason during the Olympic Games year
  • Have participated in at least one of the events mentioned in the qualification pathways.

The Tripartite Commission Invitation Place is a placement offering opportunities to countries that sent small delegations of athletes to the Olympic games for which they are unable to qualify. The goal is to increase and include all National Olympic Committees (NOCs) at the Olympics.

The selected Tripartite athletes of each gender must meet the required technical level, eligibility criteria, and must participate in the IFSC Combined World Championships in Pathway 1.

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Olympic Rings Logo

The Summer Olympics 2020 will be an interesting year with new events to attract the younger generation. I do not think I will jump up and train for the rock climbing Olympic competition anytime soon. It is totally over my league for old lady climbing. However, I do not think it is out of the league for young generation climbers. I saw many amazing and qualified climbers who can take on the three different disciplines (sport, boulder, and speed) with ease.

Each of the disciplines is physically demanding and mentally challenging. Competitors who know how to work with their mental and physical capabilities will definitely shine. Do you see possibilities for yourself in the Olympic games? I love to hear your thoughts. Please leave your comments below.

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