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False Starts in Speed Need to Change for Olympics

Speed climbing is an important part of the Olympic combined format and it was very exciting to watch at the Innsbruck World Championships, but a few improvements can be made.

Two of the top climbers made false starts, Tomoa Narasaki and Akiyo Noguchi, which could have been avoided with small changes to the rules. Many other climbers also made false starts.

Climbers put pressure on an electronic mat until 0.10 seconds after the buzzer indicates the start of the race.

Both Narasaki and Noguchi started after the buzzer, but before the 0.10 rule.

By eliminating the rule, we’ll see more of the top climbers advance. Many suggested giving a one-second penalty for every 0.10 seconds of starting too soon.

Jerome Meyer of the IFSC IOC committee also suggested that the Speed route might need to change every four years to keep the sport more interesting and to give new, young climbers an equal change to improve.

Overall, the speed event was amazing, but we likely won’t see the best speed climbers at the Olympics due to the combined qualification format.

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