Encyclopedia of Sport: Every sport from around the world

Speed Climbing

Speed climbing is a climbing sport performed indoors on an artificial climbing wall. The objective is to climb the entire route in the fastest time possible. The team or individual that clocks the fastest time is declared as the winner.

Speed climbing can be done on rocks, walls and poles. In sport climbing competitions, a standardized 15 meter climbing wall is used, with a 5-degree overhanging with identical holds. Since 2007, there has been a universally standard wall for the world record, so that all times are comparable. The electronic timing is started as the climber leaves a sensor mat on the ground, and finishes when they strike a switch at the top of the route.

high speed climbing route high speed climbing route

At the Olympics, the sport of speed climbing was introduced as part of the sport climbing event. The competition involved two athletes racing up a 15-meter wall, side-by-side, on an identical course. The first to the top won and progressed to the next round.

The world record, as of May 2021, is 5.208 seconds by Indonesian climber Veddriq Leonardo.

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