New Speed World Record by Gold Medalist
The only thing hotter than the temperature in Chongqing this weekend was the swiftness of the speed climbers. Closing out an incredible speed competition in this year’s 2019 Chongqing World Cup, we were lucky enough to see world class performances from both the men and women.
QiXin ZHONG (CHN) made quick work of his opponents with almost flawless performances with times all below 6 seconds but failed to outperform Kostiantyn PAVLENKO (UKR) in the ½ finals as their almost perfectly synchronized choreography up the wall turned out only a 0.022 second difference advancing PAVLENKO to the next round. Unfortunately, his momentum was halted in the big finals by the extremely nimble Alfian MUHAMMAD (INA) leaving PAVLENKO with Silver and crowning MUHAMMAD as the 2019 Chongqing World Cup Speed Climbing Champion. ZHONG had a fighting chance for the bronze in the small finals, but after going head to head with Sergey RUKIN (RUS) fell prey to the pressure and humidity, slipping more than once and ultimately falling off the wall handing over the bronze medal to RUKIN.
What an evening it was for the women, putting numbers on the board that have never been seen in IFSC speed climbing competition history. Even qualifying for the final rounds had all 16 girls climbing comfortably under the 9 second mark. The ¼ finals gave us a real treat as YiLing SONG (CHN) exploded from the starting gate, quickly leaving Natalia KALUCKA (POL) in the dust while executing unprecedented speed and agility and setting a new women’s speed climbing world record of 7.101 seconds. She followed this up in the ½ finals against Anouck JAUBERT (the previous world record holder) with a time of 7.11 seconds, which was still faster than the previous world record of 7.32. Although losing the match, JAUBERT still finished with a time of 7.321 almost matching her old world record time. SONG continued this momentum and concentration finishing with her second consecutive gold medal this season and leaving Aleksandra RUDZINSKA (POL) with the silver medal. The battle for the bronze was a bit difficult for JAUBERT to swallow as she competed with one of her biggest rivals, Luliia KAPLINA. As the buzzer sounded both girls took off, but KAPLINA quickly lost her footing creating some distance behind JAUBERT. This distance didn’t last long as France’s JAUBERT couldn’t quite keep it together through the middle section, finally slipping on the very last foothold and falling giving plenty of time for KAPLINA to catch up and finish in 3rd place.
Visit the official event page for the full results and highlights from Chongqing, and stay tuned as the 3rd Bouldering World Competition starts tomorrow.