DOUBLE CHINA GOLD AS WU AND DENG TOP SPEED PODIUMS
China’s Wu Peng and Deng Lijuan made it a double home gold in front of an adoring crowd at the Fenhu Culture and Sports Center at the IFSC World Cup Wujiang.
The win in Wujiang was the first time that Wu had stepped on top of an IFSC World Cup podium, doing so by taking the final race by the slimmest of margins against his teammate Huang Jingjie.
Both making it through to the gold medal showdown, Wu raced to the top in 5.05 compared to Huang’s 5.10.
After his win Wu said: “I’m really happy to win a gold in my home nation. I want to thank my national team and coaches, but especially the spectators here tonight who gave us such warm support.”
The semi-finals was an all-Asian affair as the two Chinese athletes overcame Japan’s Omasa Ryo and South Korea’s Shin Euncheol, meaning Omasa and Shin had to battle it out in the small final for the bronze medal.
With both posting personal best times in the finals rounds, it was another tight contest with the Japanese climber tapping at 5.11 compared to the South Korean’s 5.16. It was a second bronze of the season for Omasa.
Full men’s Speed results here
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
The home crowd had more to cheer as Deng took gold after coming through the finals round to beat Poland’s Natalia Kalucka in the final race of the competition.
Deng’s 6.58 edged out Kalucka’s 6.69 for her first gold medal of the 2023 series.
Deng said: “I’m so thankful for all the support from everyone here tonight. It has made the gold medal very special. I also want to thank the team, coaches and leaders for all the support we get.”
Silver medallist Kalucka said: “I’m really proud of myself as this season was hard for me. It was very intense, but I am happy. I’m really tired now and waiting for my rest day. I have to go back to school now and when I get back home I have to pass my final exam!”
Deng was joined by teammate Niu Di on the women’s podium as she overcame another Kalucka in the small final – this time Aleksandra.
Niu tapped at 6.89 for her bronze medal ahead of the visibly annoyed Aleksandra who tapped at 7.85.
With an Olympic ticket in her hands and a new world record from last week in Rome, Poland’s Aleksandra Miroslaw bowed out at the quarterfinal stage after slipping.
Full women’s Speed results here
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC
As well as event honours, the 2023 Speed series overall results were confirmed with Natalia Kalucka winning the women’s series with 3700 points – a gold in Villars the best score of her series giving her 1000 points for the win.
Aleksandra Miroslaw was second with 3545 points with the Polish climber winning three events, but only competing in four of the six events with five out of six counting towards the overall score.
Fresh from the win in Wujiang, Deng was lifted onto the podium in third with 3535 points.
Full 2023 women’s series results here
Indonesia’s world record holder Leonardo Veddriq was absent in Wujiang, but still won the series with 3470 points. Veddriq won two events early in the series for 1000 points from each towards his total.
Wu was second with 3405 points with the help of win in Wujiang, and USA’s Samuel Watson became the first men’s climber from his country to make the Speed series podium in third with 2550 points.
Full 2023 men’s series results here