Will Kiromal Katibin be the first man to break the 5-second barrier? Yesterday he broke his own record twice in qualifications. If he does the same today in Finals he could make history.
Once again Kiromal Katibin proves that there is something special about the Indonesian speed climbing team. Today was just the qualifiers for the speed leg of the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Villars. In his very first run, he set a time of 5.097.
This just broke the previous world record of 5.105 he himself set back in late May in Salt Lake City. That record broke the previous one he set – 5.17 seconds – earlier in the month of May in Korea. And that record beat his teammate – Veddriq Leonardo with 5.208 – that beat Kiromal’s 5.258 on the same day in May 2021.
Not much later in his second qualification run Kiromal made a huge jump and set a time of 5.04 seconds. So in just over one year, Veddriq has improved his time by nearly a quarter of a second. He only needs an extra 0.04 seconds of grace and he will break the 5-second barrier. Could he do it today?
The latest leg of the IFSC Climbing World Cup is being held in Villars, Switzerland on a specially-made outdoor wall. Both Speed Climbing and Lead Climbing events will occur spread over three days. Yesterday was Speed qualifications only.
In Speed climbing, the qualification and finals round work differently. In qualifications two climbers climb at a time – but don’t compete head to head. Every climber gets to go twice, without being able to try again if they fall.
The best sixteen overall times of the day go on to the finals where climbers do compete head to head in brackets. Winners go on to face other winners. There are also losers brackets to decide overall placings. The fastest times overall may not win in finals as consistency and not falling are the most important factors overall.
Today (Friday) starts with Lead qualifications and finishes with Speed finals. On Saturday Lead semis will be followed by the Lead finals. There will also be a silent disco and then a “Back to the 80s” event over the weekend, so any coaches with their old spandex kicking about will have something to enjoy.
The next fastest times were 5.219 by Long Cao, and 5.226 by Jianguo Long. Both competitors are from China and are relative newcomers to the top of the tables. In fifth was Reza Alipour Shenazandifard with one of his best times in a while of 5.332. The previous long-term record holder looks like he is gaining back some of the gap that’s been bridged since climbers started training Speed for the Olympics.
As well as official Speed and Lead walls, the area also has a really well-set auto-belay wall for spectators to try climbing out for the first time. Next week the Paraclimbing world cup has an event in Villars as well as a Youth event.