China’s Zhang Yuetong will make her Olympic debut next year at Paris 2024 after booking her ticket at the Asian qualifier in Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Winning the women’s Boulder & Lead competition meant qualification to the Olympic Games with just the one quota place available, and it was Zhang who triumphed with a strong lead climb.

Going into the final Lead route of the women’s competition Zhang was sitting fourth after her Boulder round. With a score of 88.1pts, Zhang had gone to the top of the rankings and set down a marker for the two Japanese climbers, Nonaka Miho and Ito Futaba, to reach.

Neither could quite match the heights of the Chinese climber and when Ito fell from the Lead wall, Zhang’s win and Olympic ticket was confirmed with a total score of 142.3pts – not that she could believe it.

Zhang said: “Before this competition I didn’t think I could make it. I don’t know what to say, it’s all a bit too fast, but right now it is exciting and surprising. It is a dream come true. I thought maybe the best I could do here was a podium and the gold was impossible because there are many strong girls. The Japanese and Korean girls, and China has another strong girl in the final, so I’m really surprised.”

Tokyo 2020 Silver medallist Nonaka had to settle for the silver medal position on 140.9pts with teammate Ito in bronze on 135.8pts, however both still have a shot at the Games through the Olympic Qualifier Series in Shanghai, China, and Budapest, Hungary, next year.

Also hoping to take their next shot in those qualifiers will be Tokyo 2020 Olympian Seo Chaehyun of South Korea who finished in fourth on 124.4pts, Luo Zhilu of China in fifth with 121.3pts, Kim Jain of South Korea in sixth with 108.6pts, Kume Nonoha of Japan in seventh with 100.3pts, and Sukma Lintang Cahyani of Indonesia in eighth with 43.6pts.

Full women’s results can be found here


ZHANG Yuetong signs her Paris 2024 ticketPhoto: Lena Drapella/IFSC

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