CHAMPION HUNT LOOKS AHEAD TO THE WORLD GAMES CHENGDU 2025

When the schedule for The World Games Chengdu 2025 was released over the weekend, one point stuck out for what will be Sport Climbing’s sixth appearance at the multi-sport event – this time, it’s all about Speed.

Read all about The International World Games Association (IWGA) official sports programme announcement here.

Individual men’s and women’s Speed is no stranger to international competition featuring regularly at IFSC World Cup events and is set to be a standalone discipline in Paris 2024 next year, but Speed Relay saw its debut this year at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, and now China again will see another first with men’s and women’s four-lane Speed making its international debut. That’s a total of six sets of medals for the speedsters.

Someone who knows a little about what it takes to win one of those medals is USA’s Emma Hunt – the American took home women’s individual gold at the last edition in Birmingham, USA in 2022, and we caught up with her for some thoughts on Chengdu 2025. 

IFSC: Emma, what was your experience of The World Games?

Emma: My experience at the World Games was surreal. There was an amazing atmosphere in the village with all the different sports and a really cool venue. I loved having a Games event in the middle of the World Cup circuit, I think that athletes were already in top shape for the event. Personally, I was stoked to have the Games so close to my home and to have shared the experience with my whole family and all my coaches, and even to win on my brother’s birthday. It was a great first games experience for me!

Speed is the only discipline in 2025 - is it good to have the focus on your discipline?

It’s amazing for all the focus to be on Speed at The World Games and for there to be different formats! I feel Speed climbing has not been as popular or fully accepted as Boulder and Lead Climbing, so it’s super exciting to see Speed Climbing get to stand on its own at such a major event. Having said that, while it is so special to have Speed Climbing be the focus at The World Games 2025, the Boulder and Lead climbers will definitely be missed!

What do you think of the formats – individual, four-lane, relay?

I think that having three formats at The World Games is awesome! Each format has its own complexity and can have wildly different outcomes. I think the athletes will enjoy getting to participate in the sport they love with different twists. I am excited to see what the four-lane format will look and feel like because the athletes won’t be focusing on only one component, but three! It will be so exciting to compete in and watch!

And what can the audience expect?

It’s Speed Climbing, so the audience should expect anything and everything to happen! Other than that, spectating will be filled with a ton of intense and exciting races by some of the fastest athletes in the world!

The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, China from 7 to 17 August 2025, and for more information about the overall sports programme and qualification system for Sport Climbing click here.

231218 IFSC Media Champion Hunt looks ahead to The World Games Chengdu 2025Emma Hunt smiles after winning gold at The World Games Birmingham 2022
Photo: Daniel Gajda/IFSC

The World Games

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