Will the list of French people who have qualified for the Paris Olympic Games grow? This Sunday, Bassa Mawem might feel less alone anyway, amid the climbing heats. Because the French elite of rock climbing and challenge racing will gather in Laval from Thursday during the European qualifying tournament to try to win the bowl. In total, there are eight Blues who can get this ticket for Paris 2024. But not all of them will climb the Bourget climbing area.
The competition will begin this Thursday with the women’s qualifiers and end on Sunday. There are only two tickets to Paris: one for each winner (male and female). Therefore, the task promises to be sensitive, especially due to the large number of candidates. Among women, the biggest favorite seems to be Oriane Bertone. Réunionnaise, who was fourth in the world, did not stray far from the qualifying rounds at the World Championship held in Bern last August and ranked sixth overall. But only three members of the podium confirmed their participation in the Olympic Games.
But optimism remains for the 19-year-old young climber, one of three Europeans to reach the world final. Especially since her two rivals, Slovenian Olympic champion Janja Garnbret and Austrian Jessica Pilz, qualified by finishing in the top two places in this competition and therefore cannot be in Mayenne. Only French women Zélia Allez (19 years old), Manon Hily (29 years old) and Helene Janicot (29 years old) They seem to be able to tickle him, but they all still leave with a certain delay.
Schalck, Jenft and Mawem face two monsters of the discipline
For men, danger may come from abroad. Because reigning Olympic champion Alberto Ginés Lopez and four-time world champion Adam Ondra will be there and hoping to crash the party in France. The Czech athlete, who finished sixth in Tokyo, needs to take revenge at the Olympic Games. The surprising Toby Roberts, who is only 18 and finished fifth at the Combined World Championships in Bern, could also do well.
But the French have their arguments. The leader of this French delegation appears to be 19-year-old Mejdi Schalck. The Ile-de-France native, vice world bouldering champion, failed to reach the final in the combined event. But his hard work in the tough test should allow him to aim for victory during this TQO. In case of a failure or a small mistake, Paul Jenft (20 years old) is on the alert. It was Chamberian who took Mejdi Schalck out of the world final at the expense of a spectacular semi-final. In Laval, he was once again able to tickle his compatriot like world rock climbing champion Mickaël Mawem (33).
Whatever the outcome, the Olympic adventure will not end here for the French. Because this European qualifying tournament will not be the last chance to qualify for the climb. A series of qualifying events will be contested between March and June 2024 and a ranking will be established. The top ten women and the top ten men will fly to Paris. But the French would undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to peacefully prepare for this incredible period.