Olympic Qualifier Series
Budapest 2024
Boulder & Lead

The Olympic Qualifier Series brings the end to Paris 2024 qualification

The final day of the Olympic Qualifier Series – for both Budapest and the two event Series – confirmed the final Paris 2024 Speed Climbing qualified athletes.

The Paris 2024 line-up is now complete after Speed athletes were confirmed yesterday and the men’s and women’s Boulder & Lead athletes were confirmed today to add to the qualified athletes from the ISFC Climbing World Championships Bern 2023 and continental qualifiers.

In the men’s Boulder & Lead all eyes were on the French battle for Paris 2024 places.

Sam Avezou and Mejdi Schalck were in the final, but teammate Paul Jenft wasn’t. There were so many combinations of results to determine the places, but all included Jenft sitting down to watch unable to do a thing to affect the outcome.

Avezou needed to finish above his Schalck to ensure his place, and when he descended the Lead he knew he had done enough, hitting the ground unable to lift his head from disbelief, despite the cheers and applause from the crowd.

When he did come up for air he acknowledged the roaring crowd with the knowledge he would be joining his sister Zelia, who booked her spot earlier in the day, at a home Games.

A score of 105.6 was even enough to take the overall win while finishing in sixth wasn’t enough for Schalck, which meant Jenft was joining Avezou. Jenft promptly burst into tears of joy.

O**n his performance securing one of the two spots available for his home Olympic Games, Avezou said: “I never reacted this well to pressure before. You could see in Shanghai it wasn’t great (he slipped on the first hold of his lead climb in the final). I am super happy I could manage eventually the pressure here and yeah, probably under pressure my best climbs ever.”

Talking about that slip being on his mind today he said*:* “Actually yeah, because from the observation, I saw the beginning of the route and it was a bit sketchy. I didn’t know what to do and all of a sudden it came back to me. This was very tough to get over.

“But I did three tries this comp and no slip on the first hold. I was quite relieved about that.”

On the moment he knew he had the Paris spot at teammate Schalck’s expense*, Jenft said**:* “It was really hard because for the first time I knew Mejdi was not going in the Olympics and it was a hard perspective because, for some point, it was my fault. It’s really hard to make it not possible for your friend to go to Paris.

“It’s really, really hard. We trained together for (the past) three years and that was the worst scenario that was possible.

“I don’t know why I was crying, it was the release of pressure after a long, long time. It was stressful all day, every day (in Budapest) and in one second everything stopped. It’s a strange thing.”

South Korea’s Lee Dohyun took second in Budapest to go with top spot at OQS Shanghai. He finished with a total of 98.6 points.

There were two podiums from two OQS events for Czechia’s Adam Ondra also who, with 94.4 points, finshed third in Budapest to go with third at Shanghai.

Belgium’s Hannes Van Duysen was one of the four climbers to top a Boulder - along with Avezou, Lee and Ondra – for a total of 86.1 and fourth place.

Spain’s Alberto Gines Lopez was fifth with 83.6 points, Germany’s Alexander Megos was seventh with 67.0 points and teammate Yannick Flohe was eighth with 52.4 points.

Six of the eight finalists had already mathematically booked their place at the Games after the semi-finals, plus Avezou and Jenft, that made eight. The other four climbers going to Paris 2024 are Great Britain’s Hamish McArthur, Switzerland’s Sascha Lehmann, Slovenia’s Luka Potocar and China’s Pan Yufei.

Men’s Boulder & Lead Budapest results can be found here
Olympic Qualifier Series results can be found here


USA’s Brooke Raboutou made it two from two in the OQS by winning the Budapest event and adding the trophy to her Shanghai win.

Raboutou went into the Lead round in second place behind Japan’s Nonaka Miho but overtook her rival with a 76-point climb compared to Nonaka’s 57.1.

On finally qualifying for Paris 2024, after narrowly missing out at the World Championships and PanAm Games Raboutou said: "It’s hard to believe, I’m incredibly happy. It’s been a hard journey. I missed some chances to qualify. So it was panic no, stress yes. It’s been a lot of heartbreak and a lot of growth.

"Honestly, I am grateful for it all. They say the harder the journey the better it feels, and I could not feel that more. I am incredibly proud about how much each stage taught me. I’ve had really good performances."

Raboutou finished with a total of 159.8 points for the win with Nonaka on 156.0 for second. Nonaka was the only climber to top all four Boulders to help her on her way to second overall.

Erin McNeice of Great Britain took third to add to her third from Shanghai with two consistent scoring rounds – 69.4 in Boulder and 68.1 in Lead for a total of 137.5 points.

On qualifying for Paris 2024 McNeice said*:* “I’m a bit relieved. I’m so happy that I managed to enjoy it, and to get two medals in the process (OQS Shanghai and Budapest) feels amazing.

“I’m not scared (of going to Paris 2024), but it’s a big comp so it’s definitely a bit intimidating. I’m going to relax a bit then have a couple of hard weeks of training.”

China’s Luo Zhilu was fourth overall with a total of 122.5 points ahead of South Korea’s Seo Chaehyun in fifth, Italy’s Laura Rogora in sixth, Slovenia’s Mia Krampl in seventh and Ukraine’s Ievgeniia Kazbekova in eighth.

All of the eight finalists had mathematically secured their Paris 2024 spot after semi-finals and were officially confirmed following the end of competition along with Germany’s Lucia Dorffel, France’s Zelia Avezou, Italy’s Camilla Moroni and Great Britain’s Molly Thompson-Smith.

Women’s Boulder & Lead Budapest results can be found here
Olympic Qualifier Series results can be found here

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