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Records set for China's speed climbing with new rules introduced at National Games

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-09-18 09:25
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XI'AN - Wu Peng and Niu Di set national records of 5.62 and 6.98 seconds respectively for the men's and women's speed climbing in the qualification round at China's 14th National Games here on Friday.

The results, however, are not the fastest performance the Chinese speed climbers have ever had. Deng Lijuan from Hunan province also had broken the seven-second barrier earlier in May with 6.67 seconds, bettering the current women's world record of 6.84 seconds created by Poland's Aleksandra Miroslaw at the Tokyo Olympics, and another Hunan climber Cao Long's personal best is only 0.09 seconds behind the current men's world record of 5.20 seconds.

All the records set before the 14th National Games are announced to be void, as a new set of certificating standards of speed climbing national records was released a week ago by the China Mountaineering Association (CMA), the governing body of sport climbing, and has been put into use for the first time in Xi'an.

"In the past, we don't have clear rules to certificate the climbing surface, holds, and timing systems that are used in domestic races, so that the records set before are unconvincing in a way," said Li Guowei, head of the sport climbing department of China's mountain sports management center.

"Chinese climbers have grown from amateurs to professionals in the past few years, and sport climbing has made it into the Olympics, so it's time for standardization in order to further promote the sport," Li added.

Deng Lijuan ranked second in the women's discipline with 1.01 second behind. The Hunan climber fell in her first attempt largely due to the heavy rain, from which the men's runner-up Long Jinbao, 0.07 behind the new record holder, also suffered in his failed second attempt.

"The rain created lots of trouble. There was water on several holds, and the wind just blew the raindrops into my eyes," said Niu, indicating that she could have been faster without the rain.

The final round, which was scheduled to be held in the evening, was delayed because of the formidable weather.

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