Taiwan sport climber eyeing berth at Tokyo Olympics

09/03/2020 07:28 PM
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Sport climber Lee Hung-ying. CNA photo Sept. 2, 2020
Sport climber Lee Hung-ying. CNA photo Sept. 2, 2020

Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) One of Taiwan's leading female sport climbers is aiming to qualify in December for a place in the next Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 2021.

Lee Hung-ying (李虹瑩), Taiwan's top ranked climber in two of the sport's three disciplines, said on Wednesday that she is currently preparing for the sporting body's Asian Championships to be held Dec. 9-13 in the Chinese city of Xiamen.

As of Thursday, Lee is ranked world's No. 40 in speed and No. 55 in boulder, according to the International Federation of Sport Climbing's (IFSC's) website.

The third discipline is lead, and Lee said she needs to win in the combined format of all three disciplines if she is to become one of the 20 competitors when the sport makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Although she was forced to change her original plan to prepare her training in Japan because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the new schedule of the Asian Championship gives her more time to recover from previous injuries and to improve her physical strength, Lee said at a promotional event held in Taipei by the Chinese Taipei Alpine Association.

Lee said she is currently training at various climbing facilities in northern Taiwan, but neither the National Sports Training Center nor any local private facilities meet the requirements for professional training.

According to the IFSC website, 20 athletes per gender will compete in the combined format in the Tokyo Games, currently scheduled for July 23-Aug. 8, and qualifying events in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania will be held between November and December.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Kay Liu)

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