Alberto Ginés López is an Olympic gold medallist ©Getty Images

Barcelona is set to stage the first sanctioned event using sport climbing's boulder and lead format for the Paris 2024 Olympics - but only Spanish athletes may enter.

The competition, at Sharma Climbing in Gavà on March 4 and 5, will be an International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) first.

Alberto Ginés López, sport climbing's first-ever Olympic gold medallist, is set to top the bill.

Whereas boulder, lead and speed climbing were combined into one event on sport climbing's Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, speed will have its own medal event at Paris 2024, with lead and boulder fused for a second medal event.

Under the new rules, scores from the boulder and lead rounds will be combined, with 200 points the maximum.

Each of the four boulders in the first round will be worth up to 25 points. 

The lead route will also have a maximum score of 100 points.

The boulder and lead disciplines will be combined at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images
The boulder and lead disciplines will be combined at Paris 2024 ©Getty Images

"We are delighted to hold this test event in Barcelona, in the home country of one of our first two Olympic champions," IFSC President Marco Scolaris said.

"It is a true pleasure to meet again with a climbing legend and friend like Chris [Sharma], and to see the passion that he and the whole Sharma Climbing organisation put into this event."

Sharma, the American climber who founded the eponymous gym, said it was a "huge honor" to host the test event.

"At Sharma Climbing we are very excited to be able to carry out the first Olympic rehearsal with the new format that will be used in Paris 2024," Sharma added. 

"Being able to experiment it with the Spanish team, led by the current Olympic Champion Alberto Ginés López, is a dream come true."

The IFSC's chief boulder route-setter, Remi Samyn, chief boulder route-setter Jan Zbranek and Jury President Tim Hatch are all due to be in attendance.

The new format's competitive debut is due to be a the multi-sport Munich 2022 European Championships.