KATIBIN FINDS FORM TO PLEASE JAKARTA CROWDS
As the spotlights hit the Speed athletes on a warm Jakarta evening, all eyes were on the new world record holder Veddriq Leonardo to once again get the crowds on their feet, but it was another Indonesian speedster who got the home fans going at the IFSC World Cup.
Kiromal Katibin had previously been breaking the world record for fun, but it was Leonardo who was the first to go under the magic five seconds last week in Seoul. That only fanned the flames in Katibin.
In front of a home crowd, Katibin shot to the top of the men’s Speed qualification with a 5.03, but the Indo climber believes there is still more to come: "I feel very happy with my time. A 5.03 is a good time and it gets me into the finals so I’m really happy about that, and I think I can go even quicker tomorrow as well.”
Katibin is one of six home climbers through to finals, with Leonardo another. The sub-five man had to settle for 5.09 to qualify in second behind his teammate.
The silver and bronze medallists from last week’s IFSC World Cup in Seoul, South Korea – Wang Xinshang and Long Jinbao – both qualified for the finals for another shot at a medal and are joined by three teammates.
Jun Yasukawa set a new Japanese men’s record of 5.22 to qualify in eighth position, and he needed to be fast with a 5.35 needed to qualify from the men's category. Yaroslav Tkach of the Ukraine set that time to go through in 16th position.
From one record holder to another, Poland’s Aleksandra Miroslaw is looking pretty unstoppable at the start of the 2023 season yet again posting the fastest time and qualifying in first. A 6.36 secured the top spot for the Polish climber.
Miroslaw is one of four Polish athletes in the finals, again being joined by the consistent Kalucka sisters Natalia and Aleksandra who qualify in fourth and fifth respectively.
The other nations with four representatives in the women’s finals are Indonesia, with Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi the fastest and going through in second position with 6.65, and China.
USA’s Emma Hunt qualified in seventh position despite not feeling in tip top shape: "I didn’t climb the way I really wanted to, but that’s ok, I know I will climb better tomorrow when it counts. It was hot today, and again, it’s something I will be ready for tomorrow.
"I’m not sure if the heat was the reason I didn’t climb that well today, I don’t think it was, but it could be a factor."
With another fast qualification, China’s Yafei Zhou needed a 7.42 to qualify in 16th position.
Finals racing will start tomorrow, 7 May, at 20:00 (UTC+7:00) with the women racing first, followed by the men.
Kiromal Katibin of Indonesia recorded the fastest time at the end of the men's Speed qualification round in Jakarta, Indonesia
Photo: Dimitris Tosidis/IFSC