To the dismay of home fans, China’s new speed climbing world record holder, Song Yi Ling, slipped and fell out contention in the quarter-finals at the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s World Cup in Wujiang.
The dramatic departure of Song, who had reduced the world mark to 7.101sec in winning at last week’s IFSC World Cup in Chongqing, opened the way for an unexpected winner in a competition marked by sudden falls.
And it was Aleksandra Rudzinska, who had taken silver behind the Chinese phenomenon in the previous event, who responded best.
The Pole had reached the final with a time of 7.280, which would have been a world record had it not been for the events of the previous week, and she claimed gold ahead of Indonesia’s Aries Rahuya in the final.
Meanwhile, the French climber who had held the previous record of 7.32, Anouck Jaubert, won the bronze medal, beating Russia’s Anna Tsyganova.
Earlier in the competition, mistakes had also done for the challenges of Chongqing bronze medallist, Luliia Kaplina of Russia, and Poland’s Alessandra Kalucka reached the top with time to spare but failed to stop the timer,
The men’s speed title went to a jubilant Dmitri Timofeev, who produced a series of personal bests.
The Russian defeated France’s Bassa Mawem in the final, with Italy’s Ludovico Fossali claiming victory in the bronze medal match against Reza Alipour of Iran.
Tomorrow will see qualifying ahead of Sunday’s concluding semi-finals and finals in the bouldering competition.