The new sport climbing format for Paris 2024 explained

Sport climbing is set to make its second Olympic appearance at Paris 2024.

After a successful debut at Tokyo 2020, the modern discipline will take to the Le Bourget Sport Climbing Venue in Saint-Denis next summer, with the roster expanding to a total of 68 competitors.

Climbing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw athletes compete in all three disciplines for one overall 'combined' medal.

But athletes and spectators can expect a change to the format in Paris, with two medal events contested instead of just one.

Here's everything you need to know about sport climbing's new Olympic format.

Discipline breakdown

Speed: Two climbers scale a standardised 15m route at a five-degree incline in a head-to-head race. Male athletes average a climb of under six seconds with women under seven.

Bouldering: Athletes climb four different routes - or problems - with the aim to get to the top of as many as possible in as few attempts as possible. Each route is separated into three zones, with an athlete having to hold onto a zone with both hands to pick up points.

Lead: Athletes climb an unknown route as fast as they can in six minutes. The climber must clip their rope into each quickdraw with the aim to reach the highest hold possible on the wall.

Paris 2024

At the 2024 Olympics, climbing will be expanded to two medal events per gender: Speed and Combined (Boulder + Lead).


The Speed event will see specialised speed climbers compete against each other on the world's biggest stage.

A total of 28 athletes, 14 per gender, will take part in the event.

The competition will feature one qualifying round, with climbers facing each other in a head-to-head race for the top.

The highest-placed qualifiers will reach the finals and secure their opportunity to take home the first-ever individual Olympic gold medal in speed climbing on the 7th and 8th August 2024.

World champion and European record holder Matteo Zurloni of Italy has already booked his spot in the men's competition whilst Olympic record holder Aleksandra Miroslaw of Poland has also clinched her place on the plane to Paris.


The newly contest combined event will see athletes compete in both the boulder and lead discipline for gold.

Each athlete can earn a maximum of 200 points, with 100 points up for grabs in each discipline.

In bouldering, each of the four problems is worth up to 25 points, with five for reaching the first zone, 10 for the second, and the full 25 for the top.

The maximum points for the lead phase are attained by reaching the top of a route.

Working backwards from the top, the last 10 moves earn four points each, the previous 10 moves earn three and so on, with any moves below the final 40 not collecting any points.

Competitors who reach the same place on the lead will be ranked based on how long it took them to reach the hold.

The athlete who has acheived the highest score overall will be crowned the Combined Olympic champion.

Teenage sensation Toby Roberts topped the combined European Qualifiers and is set to make history as the first male sport climber to represent Team GB at an Olympics next summer.

Sportsbeat 2023