L/R: Rajiah SALLSABILLAH of Indonesia, ZHOU Yafei of China
Olympic Qualifier Series
Yafei ZHOU

In a set of finals filled with close races, Zhou Yafei and Veddriq Leonardo placed first and both set new personal bests at.

A trophy in their hands, and 50 points in their pockets: China’s Zhou Yafei and Indonesia’s Veddriq Leonardo are the winners of the Speed events in Shanghai, China, where the first part of the Olympic Qualifier Series is taking place.

Zhou and Leonardo were the fastest and most consistent athletes on the wall, peaking at the right time and setting new personal bests in the two gold medal races: Zhou prevailed over Indonesia’s Rajiah Sallsabillah, stopping the clock at 6.54 seconds, against her rival’s 6.75. Leonardo, instead, won against home favourite Wu Peng of China, hitting the finish pad at 4.83 seconds – four tenths of a second away from the current world record. Wu placed second with 4.88.

“I just performed like myself. I performed the way I do normally,” said Zhou. “I tried to focus on every single climb, on every single run I had to do today. I did feel nervous, but I tried to block out the noise that came from the spectators. I felt I just had to focus on myself*.* I just thought about the action, about the things I had to do.

Then adding: “This was not the best level, because some athletes were not here. It felt like the second level. The level could be even higher."

For the women's Speed event complete results click here.

L/R: Rajiah SALLSABILLAH of Indonesia, ZHOU Yafei of China, Natalia KALUCKA of Poland

Leonardo said: “I am happy. I have to qualify, so this is like the first step. In Speed, even though you did well in practice, it doesn’t guarantee you a good result in competition.

I am competing among the best competitors and the best athletes in the world. The more good athletes there are in Speed Climbing, the better it is for the sport. I only focus on myself and my performance.

I have a very good relationship with the rest of the Indonesian team. We are like family. We train together. In this competition each of us tries to do our best and it’s our responsibility to bring the country’s name to the world level. Competing against each other is not a problem.”

For the men's Speed event complete results click here.

L/R: WU Peng of China, Veddriq LEONARDO of Indonesia, WANG Xinshang of China

Bronze in the women’s event went to Natalia Kalucka of Poland, who bested Niu Di of China with a 6.67-second performance. The men’s Speed podium was completed by Wang Xinshang of China, winner in 4.99 seconds of a tight race against Ukraine’s Yaroslav Tkach.

Climbing competitions at the Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai 2024 will conclude tomorrow with the Boulder & Lead finals: the men’s one starting at 10:00 (UTC+8:00), the women’s one starting at 15:25.

The second part of the Olympic Qualifier Series is set to take place in Budapest, Hungary, from 20 to 23 June. Every competition round at the OQS will be streamed live on Olympics.com. 

News and updates about the event will be available on the IFSC website and on the Federation’s digital channels: Facebook, Instagram, X, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and exclusively for the Chinese audience, Douyin and Weibo.

For a comprehensive list of quotes from the event click here.

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