Tokyo 2020: when does sport climbing start at the Olympics - everything you need to know

Forty climbers will be in action competing across three disciplines at Tokyo 2020

Sport Climbing made its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 on Tuesday (03 August) morning, making it the fourth new addition to the Games.

Along with skateboarding, surfing and BMX freestyle, sport climbing has been introduced by the International Olympic Committee to lure in a younger audience to the Olympics.

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With athletes climbing up speed walls in a race against the clock, sport climbing will be one of the most thrilling additions to Tokyo 2020.

Aleksey Rubtsov of Russia (L) and Ludovico Fossali of Italy during the Sport Climbing Men's Combined, Speed Qualification (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

Here’s everything you need to know about sport climbing at Tokyo 2020.

What is sport climbing?

Sport climbing is a new Olympic sport that sees athletes compete on climbing walls using fixed hand and foot holds in three disciplines.

There are two gold medals up for grabs in Tokyo 2020, with combined events for both women and men.

Forty climbers will be in action - 20 per competition, with each nation allowed a maximum of two people in each.

What disciplines are in Olympic sport climbing?

Within the Olympic sport climbing programme, athletes must compete in three separate disciplines as part of the combined event.

Here’s how the three disciplines work:

Speed - Two climbers will race against each other to the top of a 15m high wall with a five degree overhang. Athletes will have to race to the top to hit the buzzer which stops the clock. The route is the same for both men and women.

Lead - Climbers will climb as high as they can up a 15m wall within six minutes in one attempt. The route will be changed between qualification and the finals, but athletes will be allowed to look prior to the finals.

Bouldering - Climbers will take turns to complete routes, known as problems, on a 4.5m bouldering structure. They will attempt to do it in as few attempts as possible, Scores are determined by the number of problems either fully or partially solved.

The problems are then reset between qualification and finals and the climbers are allowed two minutes to observe the problem before the finals.

How does the sport climbing format work?

Qualification

To qualify athletes must:

– competes in speed, bouldering and lead - in that order.

– In speed, climbers have two attempts - one on each lane - and their fastest time is recorded.

– In bouldering, climbers must take on four boulders with a time limit of five minutes per boulder.

– In lead, climbers compete one at a time and the height they reach is recorded.

– Rankings are determined by multiplying the climbers' placings in all three disciplines, and the the top eight advance to the finals.

Finals

In the finals athletes must:

– The scores are reset before each climber again competes in speed, bouldering and lead - in that order.

– In speed, the climbers compete in three elimination races to determine their ranking.

– In bouldering, all climbers attempt boulder one in turn before moving to boulder two, and do likewise for the third and final boulder. There is a time limit of four minutes per boulder.

– In lead, climbers compete one at a time and the height they reach is recorded.

– Final rankings are determined by multiplying the climbers' placings in all three disciplines.

How to watch sport climbing at Tokyo 2020?

The Games are available to watch live in the UK on BBC One and the BBC Red Button every day.

Live coverage begins daily from around midnight to 3pm.

If you miss any action during the day, the BBC’s Olympic highlight show ‘Today at the Games’ is on daily throughout the Games at 7:30pm on BBC One.

Events can be watched back in their entirety via BBC iPlayer and the BBC Red Button.

However, due to limitations in the BBC’s Olympic rights deal, they are only allowed to show two live events at a time.

If you want to watch the Olympics in its entirety, the option is available via Eurosport and Discovery Plus.

A Discovery Plus subscription costs £6.99 a month or £39.99 a year, and viewers can add this to their Sky, BT or Virgin contract.