IFSC President Marco Scolaris is looking forward to sport climbing's debut at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) President Marco Scolaris has backed athletes to "rise to the unprecedented challenges" presented at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics here.

A delegation from the IFSC, led by Scolaris, arrived in the Japanese capital this week prior to sport climbing’s first appearance at the Games.

The sport climbing competition is scheduled to run from August 3 to 6 at the Aomi Urban Sports Park and will end a long wait for the IFSC.

After being added to the programme for the first time in 2016, sport climbing was due to make its Olympic debut in 2020 only for the Games to be postponed by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the world still gripped by COVID-19 and Tokyo under a state of emergency, doubts over the staging of the Games have continued.

But a total of 40 climbers - 20 men and 20 women - are now set to battle it out to be crowned the first-ever Olympic champion in the sport.

The competition will feature speed, boulder, and lead events.

"Climbers are resilient by nature," said Scolaris.

Climbers are set to compete in speed, lead and boulder competitions in the Japanese capital ©Getty Images
Climbers are set to compete in speed, lead and boulder competitions in the Japanese capital ©Getty Images

"So we will give our best to rise to the unprecedented challenges of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, and to support the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic Games, and the Japanese people."

The IFSC said its "slightly reduced team" made up of international technical officials and operational staff arrived in Japan "armed with negative PCR tests" and "all the relevant paperwork".

The first official engagement for Scolaris and secretary general Debre Gawrych in Tokyo was the 138th IOC Session, which took place on July 20 and 21.

Scolaris, who has led the IFSC since its foundation in 2007, is expected to attend tomorrow’s Opening Ceremony along with Gawrych and Presidents and secretary generals of the other 32 Olympic International Federations.

"I feel proud to represent the climbing movement," said Scolaris.

"I remember the 118th Session in Guatemala City, in 2007, where the IOC first recognised the IFSC and welcomed sport climbing into the Olympic family.

"We have truly come full circle."