American climbing star Brooke Raboutou successfully qualified into the first Olympic sport climbing women's combined final Wednesday, guided by a stellar performance on the bouldering wall.
The lowest and most cerebral of sport climbing's three disciplines is a strength of Raboutou's, as was on full display in the qualification round.
The 20-year-old from Boulder, Colorado topped three of the four boulder problems in four total attempts, and was awarded a "zone hold" on the one boulder she failed to top, equivalent to half credit. The performance was good enough for second among the 20-woman field, bested only by Slovenia's Janja Garnbret, who is widely considered the best female climber in the world and the gold medal favorite.
Raboutou executed well enough in the other two disciplines, speed and lead climbing, to advance. She was 12th-fastest on the speed wall and climbed eighth-highest on the lead wall. Raboutou qualified fifth to the eight-woman final round, slated for Friday in Tokyo.
Garnbret, who specializes in bouldering and lead climbing, qualified with the best ranking total despite a 14th-place performance on the speed wall.
Raboutou's well-rounded American teammate, Kyra Condie, missed out on the final despite placing top-11 in all three disciplines.