The new powerhouse in speed climbing
Let’s be honest, speed climbing is not as popular as bouldering or sport climbing. Unless you are training to compete no leisure climber will do speed climbing for fun. Although, speed climbing is not the type of climbing leisure climbers like to do. But it sure as hell is an exciting spectator sport. It’s like watching a swimming competition but vertical.
Speed climbing had been a discipline dominated by European nations. To be more precise, speed climbing is dominated by Eastern Europe nations like Russia, Ukraine and Poland. Although Asia countries such as Japan, Korea and China have had huge successes in IFSC World Cups. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Southeast Asia nations. Well, except for Indonesia.
The only Southeast Asia nation competing in IFSC World Cups. Indonesia had been slowly but consistently taking top spots in the IFSC Speed Climbing competitions.
Sport climbing is not exactly a popular sport in Indonesia. In fact, climbing is still somewhat considered a fringe activity in Southeast Asia. But when you see the Indonesia speed climbers competing in the IFSC Speed climbing World Cups you’ll think otherwise.
Aries Susanti Rahayu
Nicknamed the “spider women”. Aries Susanti Rahayu was the world record holder for women in speed climbing. She clocked a time of 6.995 seconds at the 2019 IFSC Xiamen World Cup. The time of 6.995 seconds made Aries the first woman to scale a speed wall in under 7 seconds. On top of that, she had won 4 IFSC Speed World Cup gold medals and a total of 7 podium finishes.
The man who broke the long-standing men’s speed climbing record of 5.48 seconds set by Iran’s Reza Alipour in 2014. 2021 in his senior year debut, Kiromal Katibin came out of nowhere to clock a time of 5.25s in the IFSC Salt Lake City Speed qualification run. Kiromal Katibin was only 20 years old when he broke the world record. He finished 2021 with a 2nd in Salt Lake and 3rd in Villars.
In the first IFSC Speed World Cup of 2022 in Seoul, Kiromal was at it again. Setting a new world record with a time of 5.17s in the qualification run. However, due to a false start in the finals, he loses gold to compatriot Veddriq Leonardo. There is a real possibility for us to witness Kiromal breaking his own world record again in 2022.
The only man who poses a challenge to Kiromal Katibin’s domination in speed is compatriot Veddriq Leonardo. Both Veddriq and Kiromal are teammates who train together and had broken each other’s world record time.
During the 2021 Salt Lake City Speed Climbing World Cup. When the speed climbing community was still in awe of Kiromal new world record time of 5.25s set during his qualification run. However, it was Veddriq Leonardo who stole the show. Beating Kiromal in the finals with a new world record time of 5.20s to win gold.
Veddriq Leonardo had competed in 3 IFSC Speed Climbing World Cups and won all 3. His most recent win was in Seoul 2022.
Indonesia Speed Climbing Team
To emphasize just how incredible the Indonesia team is. The 2022 Seoul Speed Climbing World Cup result proved it. Indonesian men speed climbers occupied all 3 steps of the podium. The speed climbing world record time is constantly being pushed to new levels by the Indonesian climbers. Let’s see if it is humanly possible to go under 5.00s. The Japanese men’s team dominate bouldering. But for speed climbing, it is definitely the Indonesian men’s team.