The Speed competition at the IFSC World Championships in Innsbruck proved more popular than ever, with the Combined Final event and Tokyo 2020 in sight. Top contenders from the IFSC Speed World Cup circuit lined up on the starting pads alongside the best athletes in Boulder and Lead.
Notable former Lead and Boulder specialists performing well in Speed included Tomoa Narasaki (JPN) in 21st place and Jan Hojer in 33rd in the men's event, and Miho Nonaka (JPN) in 25th and Petra Klingler in 23rd in the women's.
In the women's competition, the top 5 places were taken by Polish and Russian athletes. Aleksandra Rudzinska edged ahead of Patrycja Chudziak in the quarterfinal by five hundredths of a second and capitalised on a slip from Aleksandra Kalucka in the semi -final. After falling just shy of a medal in 2016, Rudzinska raced to the fastest time of the women's Speed final (7.560 seconds) to beat Anna Brozek for Gold.
Brozek's times were all under eight seconds and she placed 2nd. In the small final, Mariia Krasavina (RUS) won the bronze medal after a false start from Kalucka. 2016 World Champion, Anna Tsyganova (RUS), placed 8th, and Speed world record holders Anouck Jaubert (FRA) and Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) were both knocked out of finals in the first round.
Iranian Reza Alipourshenazandifar - current men's Speed world record holder - achieved three times under 6 seconds in the men's Speed final, with his fastest time coming in the big final against Bassa Mawem (FRA). Both athletes sped to the finish, but a slip from Mawem at the very last move was all it took for Alipourshenazandifar to claim the victory and become Speed World Champion after placing 3rd in 2014 and 2nd in 2016.
Stanislav Kokorin, the only other athlete to record three times under 6 seconds in the men's Speed final, continued his good form in the small final against QiXin Zhong (CHN) for bronze. Zhong, a former World Champion, recorded the best time of the men's Speed final (5.609 seconds), placing 4th. 2016 World Champion Marcin Dzienski (POL) placed 10th.
|14||Ludovico Fossali||ITA||false start|
|16||Amir Maimuratov||KAZ||false start|
|50||William Bosi||GBR||Qual' 7.884|
|83||William Ridal||GBR||Qual' 9.378|
|8||Anna Tsyganova||RUS||7.978||false start|
|70||Jennifer Wood||GBR||Qual' 14.050|