Molly Thompson-Smith: British climber into European Championship finals, Olympic spot in balance
Molly Thompson-Smith is a Sky Sports Scholar and is in Moscow for the European Championships with a Tokyo Olympics spot up for grabs
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 27/11/20 6:12pm
Molly Thompson-Smith has battled into the combined finals of the European Championships in Moscow to give herself a chance of making the Tokyo Olympics.
Only two days ago the 23-year-old Sky Sports Scholar became the first British woman to win a European climbing medal as she made it through to Friday's qualifying day.
Thompson-Smith produced the goods in her strongest discipline - lead - at the end of the day to finish sixth overall and get in the top-eight needed to secure her spot in Saturday's finals.
British team-mate Will Bosi also qualified for the finals.
Thompson-Smith said: "I'm thrilled to have made it through to the final. This was always going to be the toughest day.
"I had to pull a good boulder result out of the bag and then hold my nerve for my best discipline at the end of the day whilst tired, thin on skin and aware of what result I needed to make the next round.
"But I did it! And I'm super-excited to climb again on Saturday. Anything can happen in the combined final!"
With two Tokyo spots up for grabs this week in Russia, the British pair have been under pressure, dealing with rising concerns over the coronavirus in the country and needing to perform to have any hope of being at the Games in Japan.
Thompson-Smith, who has also battled back to fitness after major hand surgery three years ago, was 16th in the speed discipline, sixth in boulder and second in lead.
Bosi was third overall for what was a stunning day for the British climbers.
Many of Europe's top climbers refused to climb in Russia this week over health fears with Covid-19.