The first stage of the IFSC Speed World Cup was won yesterday in Salt Lake City, USA by Veddriq Leonardo from Indonesia and Aleksandra Miroslaw from Poland. Leonardo set a new Speed world record with the time of 5.258 seconds.
Indonesia has a short but brilliant history of producing world-class speed climbers – Aspar Jaelolo and Aries Susanti Rahayu won a stage of the Speed World Cup in 2018 for example, with Rahayu setting the Women’s record from October 2019 to November 2020 – and yesterday at Salt Lake City the world’s largest island country confirmed it’s a hotbed a talent with both Veddriq Leonardo and Kiromal Katibin in the finals.
In the much-anticipated race for gold 24-year Leonardo raced up the 15-metre wall in a mere 5.208 seconds, taking gold and pulverising the previous record of 5.48 seconds set by Reza Alipourshenazandifar in 2017. Katibin took silver having beaten the Iranians time in the qualification round (5.258 seconds) while bronze went to Poland’s Marcin Dzienski (28) who beat home favourite John Brosler (24) in a neck-and-neck race that saw the US-climber slip a few moves before stopping the clock. Dzienski’s final time was 5.842 seconds, while Brosler finished in fourth position with 6.891.
The women’s event was won by 27-year-old Aleksandra Miroslaw who pocketed her fifth World Cup gold medal, having stopped the clocked after 7.382 seconds.18-year-old Emma Hunt from the USA followed in 7.539 and, importantly, gifted the USA with its first-ever Speed World Cup medal. Poland’s Patrycja Chudziak (23) placed fourth with the time of 10.401 seconds and was beaten by Japan’s Miho Nonaka who took bronze in 8.958 seconds. Nonaka’s performance is certainly worth underlining as the Olympian is known above all for her bouldering skills. In the immediate run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, this is a result that will cause quite a stir.