Speed concluded in Chamonix today after yesterday’s record setting qualifier. Indonesia’s Kiromal Katibin set the new world record at 5.009 seconds. Although this marked Katibin’s fifth consecutive record of 2022, it was also the seventh time the record had been reset in the last 14 months. For more information on the development of Speed’s world records, click here.
China Approaches the World Record
After a three-year hiatus from competition, China returned to the World Cup stage last month. Their team has some of the strongest athletes in the world. Despite their lack of consistent international experience, the consistency of the Chinese Speed Team, in both gender categories, interrupted Indonesia’s and Poland’s dominance this season.
Jinbao Long posted three near-record times in his final. A quarter final 5.07 preceded the subsequent 5.05 and 5.11 times he posted in this evening’s competition. Although his speed is impressive, Long’s consistency in the later rounds will make him one to watch for the overall victory. To increase
While many Speed climbers slow their pace in finals to ensure they win their races, Long instead climbed faster. He set back-to-back personal bests. Both his 5.07 and 5.05 times would have set new standards if he’d placed them before Villars. However, Long did not compete in the Speed events before Villars.
China also came close to setting the women’s Speed record this evening. Despite her relative inexperience in the field, Lijuan Deng put up a time of 6.55 in finals. Not only does this time come within .02 seconds of Aleksandra Miroslaw’s record setting 6.53, but she did so in her final run of the competition. This courage to climb fast in finals will set the Chinese team apart from their competition.
Katibin fell short in finals, giving space for the athletes who followed. Teammates Aspar Aspar and former world record holder Veddriq Leonardo took third and fourth after Leonard slipped on his final run.
Spain’s Erik Noya Cardona come close to victory, but could not keep pace with Long. Instead, the Spaniard earned silver after a hard fought final. Although Cardona did not win, he showed importance of consistency in competition. Cardona’s top speed of 5.49 seconds, falls far from the fastest in the field, but victory in Speed is more often described by consistency. While consistency may work to Carodna’s advantage now, he will have to improve should he wish to stay at the top of the field. The Chinese team has reset the standard for Speed with their addition of three sub 5.2-second climbers.
In the women’s field, Poland’s Aleksandra Kalucka beat her previous personal best twice. She walked away with a silver medal, and held down the podium in Miroslaw’s absence. Miroslaw, it seems, has taken time away from the season to push her training. However, her team appears to be in good hands as Kalucka has improved steadily over this season’s competitions. Kalucka ran a personal best in finals that outpaced her previous best by a tenth of a second.
Although Poland has been at the top of the Speed game for quite some time, the women’s Indonesian team also improved dramatically this year. Their continued progression, and the addition of the Chinese team may make it difficult for Poland to retain their top spot moving forward.
Lead semi-finals continue tomorrow.
1 – Jinbao Long (CHN)]
2 – Erik Noya Cardona (ESP)
3 – Aspar Aspar (INA)
1 – Lijuan Deng (CHN)
2 – Aleksandra Kalucka (POL)
3 – Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi (INA)
Featured image of Katibin sett his world record by Lena Drapella.