He may only be a teenager, but Alberto Ginés López is already reaching new heights
The 18-year-old Spanish professional rock climber claimed the first-ever Olympic gold medal in the men’s combined sport climbing competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Gines Lopez pulled off a stunning triumph after a thrilling end to a closely contested final.
Lopez laid down a marker from the very start by winning the speed discipline. The Spaniard upset Japan’s Tomoa Narasaki in the last race in a dramatic final clash.
Narasaki slipped at the start which allowed Spaniard Lopez to storm to victory in 6.42 seconds.
Replays showed Narasaki could have been on track for one of his fastest times before he slipped as he tried to skip over a hold.
“It’s a dream come true. I didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t expect to get into the final. A dream come true,” Gines Lopez told reporters.
Nathaniel Coleman of the United States took home the silver medal, while Austria’s Jakob Schubert overcame a huge deficit in the standings to emerge top in the competition’s deciding event and bag the bronze.
The sport’s Olympic debut has also displayed its athletes’ close camaraderie, with climbers often seen discussing routes and sharing tips ahead of the different challenges, as well as unexpected twists.