PALEMBANG, INDONESIA - Tomoa Narasaki pulled off a nearly flawless showing Friday in bouldering qualification for sport climbing’s men’s combined event at the Asian Games.
The 2016 overall world champion Narasaki topped the 23-man qualifier by completing four problems on seven attempts at Jakabaring Sport Center.
In doing so, he closed in on qualifying for the final of the combined event — which includes a speed, bouldering and lead phase — that will feature when the sport makes its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
“I’ve been able to pick up my pace here,” Narasaki said. “I don’t feel tired at all from competing yesterday, and I’ve been able to move like I want to.”
He only needed one attempt to get through each of the first three problems, before struggling on the final wall. But he pulled himself together and finished ahead of South Korea’s Chon Jong-won, who needed 11 attempts to scale the four problems.
On six points, Narasaki leads Indonesia’s Katibin Kiromal by 13 in the overall rankings while Kokoro Fujii was sixth in the bouldering after completing three problems, he is ranked 12th going into the lead phase.
At the Asian Games and also at the 2020 Olympics, all climbers will compete in the three disciplines with the final rankings determined by the combined results.
The lead qualification will take place Saturday, with the final set for the following day.
In the women’s competition, veteran Akiyo Noguchi and 16-year-old Futaba Ito completed three of the four problems, and placed tied for third and seventh, respectively.
Noguchi is seventh after the first two disciplines, 8.5 points outside of the top six, while Ito is ranked 10th.
Scores of each climber in the qualifiers are be determined by multiplying their ranking in each phase, with the six lowest-scoring climbers advancing to the final.