June 22 (Reuters) - Focus on sport climbing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASICS
* 20 male and 20 female athletes will compete in three disciplines: speed, lead and bouldering.
* Speed is a vertical sprint, with athletes racing head-to-head up a 15 meter wall via identical routes.
* In lead, roped athletes attempt to climb as high as possible within six minutes.
* Bouldering sees athletes attempt to master knotty climbing problems on a 4.5m wall.
* Athlete rankings in each discipline are multiplied. The climber with the lowest combined score wins the gold medal.
HOW MANY MEDALS?
There are two gold medals up for grabs, one for men and one for women.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO
The men’s favourite is Czech climber Adam Ondra, who in addition to competition titles is known for attempting some of the world’s most technically challenging climbing routes.
While the women’s event is seen as more open, Slovenia’s Janja Garnbret is a top pick.
Sport climbing makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 along with sports such as skateboarding and surfing, part of efforts by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to broaden the appeal of the world’s largest sporting event.
WHEN IS IT HAPPENING?
WHERE IS IT HAPPENING?
Aomi Urban Sports Park, which will also host 3x3 basketball in its Olympic debut.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The growth in the popularity of climbing and its codification as a competitive sport is tied to the growth of artificial walls at climbing gyms. The development of international events opened the path to Olympic inclusion.
At Tokyo 2020 the three disciplines have been combined into a single event, meaning climbers must demonstrate the explosive speed of a sprinter and technical climbing ability.
WELL FANCY THAT
Anglican missionary Walter Weston popularised climbing in Japan in the late 19th century and the Japanese have been scrambling up mountains for leisure ever since.
About three-quarters of the host country is mountainous, with famous peaks including Mount Fuji, which last erupted in 1707, and Mount Tanigawa, where more than 800 climbers have died over the last century.
Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Peter Rutherford