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The Olympic Qualifier Series, Explained

Here's everything you need to know about one of 2024's biggest events – the format, the competitors, and the points system

Photo by: Jan Virt/IFSC

The 2024 Paris Olympics are a little over two months away. Unlike in Tokyo, the sport of climbing is going to be split into two different disciplines in Paris: Boulder & Lead Combined and Speed. In total, twenty men and twenty women will compete in the Boulder & Lead Combined event. Fourteen men and fourteen women will face off in Speed.

So far, eight athletes of each gender have qualified for their chance to compete in the Boulder & Lead event. These qualifying spots were granted through the 2023 World Champions in Bern, the 2023 Pan American Games, and a series of continental Olympic qualifying competitions held around the world over the past few months. Below is a list of climbers who have already earned their ticket to Paris in Boulder & Lead Combined:

Olympic Competitors – Men

  • Jakob Schubert (AUT)
  • Colin Duffy (USA)
  • Tomoa Narasaki (JPN)
  • Jesse Grupper (USA)
  • Toby Roberts (GBR)
  • Sorato Anraku (JPN)
  • Campbell Harrison (AUS)
  • Mel Janse van Rensburg (RSA)

Olympic Competitors – Women

  • Janja Garnbret (SLO)
  • Jessica Pilz (AUT)
  • Ai Mori (JPN)
  • Natalia Grossman (USA)
  • Oriane Bertone (FRA)
  • Zhang Yuetong (CHN)
  • Oceana Mackenzie (AUS)
  • Lauren Mukheibir (RSA)
Team USA member Brooke Raboutou. Photo by Jan Virt/IFSC.

The Olympic Qualifier Series

You’ve likely noticed that there are some big names missing from these lists. Brooke Raboutou, Adam Ondra, Miho Nonaka, Alex Megos, Chaehyun Seo, and Mejdi Schalck, to name just a few. These climbers will have one final opportunity to compete for an Olympic qualifying spot: the Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS) in May and June 2024.

The OQS is a multi-sport two-stop event that will award qualifying sports for the Paris Olympics for BMX freestyle, breaking, skateboarding, and sport climbing (Boulder & Lead and Speed). The climbing portion of the event will be held in Shanghai from May 16 to 19 and Budapest from June 20 to 23. At the end of the event in Budapest, 12 Olympic tickets in each gender category will be awarded in Boulder & Lead.

The primary criteria for qualifying for OQS was athlete IFSC World Rankings in the Boulder & Lead discipline. Below is a list of climbers who have earned their chance to compete at the Olympic Qualifier Series. It’s important to note that because of the two athlete per gender per country rule, there are no men representing U.S.A. or Japan at the OQS. Team USA members Colin Duffy and Jesse Grupper earned their Olympic tickets at the World Championships and Pan American Games respectively. Team Japan athlete Tomoa Narasaki won his ticket World Championships, and his teammate Sorato Anraku won his at the Asia Qualifier.

Olympic Qualifier Series Competitors – Men

  • Mejdi SCHALCK (FRA)
  • Dohyun LEE (KOR)
  • Alexander MEGOS (GER)
  • Adam ONDRA (CZE)
  • Sam AVEZOU (FRA)
  • Yannick FLOHÉ (GER)
  • Sascha LEHMANN (SUI)
  • Paul JENFT (FRA)
  • Alberto GINÉS LÓPEZ (ESP)
  • Jongwon CHON (KOR)
  • Hannes VAN DUYSEN (BEL)
  • Yufei PAN (CHN)
  • Mickael MAWEM (FRA)
  • Simon LORENZI (BEL)
  • Nicolas COLLIN (BEL)
  • Yunchan SONG (KOR)
  • Luka POTOCAR (SLO)
  • Nicolai UZNIK (AUT)
  • Hamish MCARTHUR (GBR)
  • Jan-Luca POSCH (AUT)
  • Stefan SCHERZ (AUT)
  • Nimrod MARCUS (ISR)
  • Maximilian MILNE (GBR)
  • Hannes PUMAN (SWE)
  • Edvards GRUZITIS (LAT)
  • Martin STRANIK (CZE)
  • Stefano GHISOLFI (ITA)
  • Anze PEHARC (SLO)
  • Martin BERGANT (SLO)
  • Jonas UTELLI (SUI)
  • Sean MCCOLL (CAN)
  • Filip SCHENK (ITA)
  • Nikolay RUSEV (BUL)
  • Marcello BOMBARDI (ITA)
  • Ravianto RAMADHAN (INA)
  • James POPE (GBR)
  • Giorgio TOMATIS (ITA)
  • Oscar BAUDRAND (CAN)
  • Yuval SHEMLA (ISR)
  • Geva LEVIN (ISR)
  • Yannick NAGEL (GER)
  • Raviandi RAMADHAN (INA)
  • Christopher COSSER (RSA)
  • Dylan PARKS (AUS)
  • Nimród Sebastyén TUSNÁDY (HUN)
Canadian Oscar Baudrand competing in the Villars 2023 qualification round. Photo by Lena Drapella/IFSC.

Olympic Qualifier Series Competitors – Women

  • Brooke RABOUTOU (USA)
  • Miho NONAKA (JPN)
  • Chaehyun SEO (KOR)
  • Jain KIM (KOR)
  • Vita LUKAN (SLO)
  • Mia KRAMPL (SLO)
  • Anastasia SANDERS (USA)
  • Futaba ITO (JPN)
  • Nonoha KUME (JPN)
  • Hélène JANICOT (FRA)
  • Manon HILY (FRA)
  • Ayala KEREM (ISR)
  • Hannah MEUL (GER)
  • Stasa GEJO (SRB)
  • Fanny GIBERT (FRA)
  • Laura ROGORA (ITA)
  • Luo ZHILU (CHN)
  • Zélia AVEZOU (FRA)
  • Ievgeniia KAZBEKOVA (UKR)
  • Eliska ADAMOVSKA (CZE)
  • Sara COPAR (SLO)
  • Camilla MORONI (ITA)
  • Lucka RAKOVEC (SLO)
  • Kyra CONDIE (USA)
  • Lucia DÖRFFEL (GER)
  • Giorgia TESIO (ITA)
  • Petra KLINGLER (SUI)
  • Noa SHIRAN (ISR)
  • Roxana WIENAND (GER)
  • Elnaz REKABI (IRI)
  • Franziska STERRER (AUT)
  • Yejoo SEO (KOR)
  • Erin MCNIECE (GBR)
  • Aleksandra TOTKOVA (BUL)
  • Alannah YIP (CAN)
  • Michaela SMETANOVA (CZE)
  • Maya STASIUK (AUS)
  • Kylie CULLEN (USA)
  • Martina BURŠÍKOVÁ (SVK)
  • Valentina AGUADO (ARG)
  • Sol SA (KOR)
  • Chloe CAULIER (BEL)
  • Tegwen OATES (RSA)
Serbian Stasa Gejo. Photo by Jan Virt/IFSC.

OQS Points System

Athletes will earn points at each stop of the OQS (Shanghai and Budapest) based on their result at each event. At each event, an athlete will earn 50 points if they place first, 45 points if they place second, 41 points if they place third, 38 points if they place 4th, and 36 points if they place fifth. From sixth place onwards, athletes will be awarded the same amount of points minus one from the place above them. For example, a climber gets 35 points for sixth, 34 points for seventh, and 33 points for eighth. See the chart below for more details.

At the end of the Budapest event, Budapest and Shanghai points will be summed together to reach a final score. For example, an athlete that places first in Shanghai and third in Budapest will have a final score of 91. The top 12 men and top 12 women will receive their Olympic qualifying spot. However, there are some additional stipulations around these qualifying spots.

The two athletes per gender per country rule is at play. Some countries have more athletes competing than can win qualifying spots. For example, Team USA is sending four women to the OQS but the country only has one qualifying spot left. If an athlete is in the top 12 but their country has already filled its two athletes per gender per country rule, they will not receive an Olympic ticket. The ticket will instead go to the next highest ranked climber.

Two of the 12 qualifying spots up for grabs in each gender has special rules. One spot for the Olympic host nation (France) and one “universality” place for typically underrepresented nations in climbing. Because the host nation spot has already filled by France’s Oriane Bertone in the women’s field, it will be reallocated to the highest-ranked climber without a qualifying spot.

Olympic Qualifier Series points system. Photo by OQS.

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Lead photo: Jan Virt/IFSC