18 year old YiLing Song of China has broken the Women’s Speed Climbing World Record with a time of 7.101 seconds. Song broke the previous record by over two tenths of a second at the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Chongqing. The record was achieved in the quarter finals in a head to head against Natalia Kalucka of Poland. Song continued in great form to get a 7.110 (which also beat the previous record) in the semi final. In the final she faced Russian Aleksandra Rudzinska who fell, giving Song the gold.
The last record was 7.32 seconds, originally set by Iuliia Kaplina of Poland in 2017 and matched in 2018 by Anouck Jaubert of France. Kaplina had set the previous eight Women’s Speed Climbing World Records, improving consistently from 7.85 in 2013. This new record is a big jump, and it is very likely that YiLing Song will go on to break her own record this year. Kaplina and others are also contenders for a new world record, though the strongest speed climbers are less likely to take medals as the competition is in the combined format.
Update 25th October 2019: The Female Speed Climbing World Record has just been broken. In a final featuring YiLing Song and Aries Susanti Rahayu, YiLing Song fell early and Aries broke the record with 6.995 seconds.