With sport climbing’s Olympic debut beckoning,
the 3 disciplines of Speed, Boulder and Lead have been added together to create
the Combined event. Speed takes place on a 15 metre, 5-degree
overhanging wall and is a race against the clock and your opponent up a route that the
climbers have practised countless times. The women’s World record is 6.99 seconds,
and the men’s 5.48 seconds. This run took just 5.52 seconds.
After the Speed the climbers tackle a series of Boulders, each around 4 metres in height
and featuring a start point, a zone hold midway up, and a top hold. The boulders are incredibly
difficult, requiring power, flexibility, coordination and the ability to quickly figure out solutions
to complex challenges. Climbers are ranked according to how many boulders they top, and
ties are separated by comparing how many zone holds they reached. If climbers are still
tied, it comes down to attempts to top and attempts to zone. For example, this climber
got 2 tops and 3 zones, and their scored is displayed like this.
The final discipline contested is Lead, which takes place on a route of at least 15 metres
in height. Climbers begin at the foot of the Lead wall and then climb as high as possible,
clipping their rope into intermediate protection points en route, aiming to reach the final
hold, right at the top of the wall. Before attempting the route, the climbers
are allowed 6 minutes to study it before their attempts. Once underway, they are scored according
to which handhold they reach, with the highest number winning. The athletes do not see one
another’s attempts. After all 3 disciplines, the climbers’ rankings
in the 3 events are multiplied together to give them their final score, with the climber
who has the lowest score winning.