Youth Olympic Games 2018 Recap
The first ever Youth Olympians of Sport Climbing has concluded at the Summer Youth Olympic (YOG) Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 10th. Sport Climbing featured 42 male and female athletes representing 25 countries. The field of athletes consist of the top 16 and 17-year-old Bouldering, Speed and Lead athletes competing for the first Olympic medals in climbing, ever. he young women competed in the qualifications on October 7th and the young men’s qualifications took place on October 8th. The finals and medal ceremonies on the 9th and 10th, respectively. After Combined qualification, the original 42 Youth Olympians of Sport Climbing dwindled down to 12 finalists, 6 men and 6 women, ranked by their combined scores in Speed, Bouldering, and Lead climbing.
In the women’s Speed event, Laura Lammer of Austria took 1st place over Elena Krasovskaia of Russia in the semi-final thanks to an early slip, and Sandra Lettner of Austria placed 3rd with a fast start over Hannah Meul of Germany after being edged out in the quarterfinals by Lammer. The four Boulder problems were topped by Vita Lukan of Slovinia, Austria’s Lettner, and Mao Nakamura of Japan; however, it was Vita Lukan who completed them in the fewest number of attempts, the tiebreaker for that discipline. With three of the six finalists topping the Lead route, the winner of this discipline came down to the athlete who completed it the fastest. Hannah Meul of Germany topped out at 3:43, seven seconds faster than Lettner. With the results compiled for all three climbing disciplines, the results were Lettner (AUT) and Lukan (SLO) tied for 1st place and Meul (GER) and Lammer (AUT) tied for 3rd place. The point tiebreaker for the Climbing Olympic Combined is a matter of the athlete who finished better than the other in the separate disciplines. As the judges finished tallying the results, it was Sandra Letter (AUT) who claimed the first female Olympic gold medal for the sport of Climbing, with Lukan (SLO) taking the silver, and another Austrian, Lammer (AUT), with the bronze.
After rough Speed qualification races for the young men, Sam Avezou of France successfully faced off against Yufei Pan, of China, without a single slip. Pan then snagged 3rd place by two-tenths of a second over Filip Schenk of Italy, and lastly, Avezou seized 1st place by four-hundredths of a second ahead of Keita Dohi of Japan, who finished each race under 8 seconds. For men’s Bouldering, Dohi took the lead by connecting all the power moves and ending the competition as the sole athlete to top all four problems. Schenk (ITA) and Shuta Tanaka of Japan finished second and third respectively with three tops each. The last four holds leading to the anchor of the Lead route were lacking any kind of foothold for the athletes and proved too difficult for all but two climbers, Tanaka and Pan. The final Climbing Olympic Combined results for the men were more clear-cut than the women’s. It was Keita Dohi (JPN) who became the first male climbing athlete to claim Olympic gold finishing 12 points ahead of his teammate, Shuta Tanaka (JPN) for silver, and 24 points ahead of Sam Avezou (FRA) for bronze.