'Spiderwoman' smashes women's speed climbing record

As athletes become more and more impressive, it becomes even harder for people to break world records set by the very best, so when it happens, it is an incredible achievement. 

Indonesia’s Aries Susanti Rahayu was able to achieve just that this weekend at the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Xiamen, China. 

Despite having hand and finger injuries, the 24-year-old was able to smash the 7.101 second record, set by her opponent, China’s Song Yiling, by climbing the 15-meter wall in just 6.995 seconds. 

Speed climbing is one of three new disciplines of climbing which is currently scheduled to debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Competitors will be graded on their combined results of speed climbing (a 15-meter scramble between two athletes), bouldering (a course with multiple routes of varying difficulty to be finished in four minutes) and lead climbing (how high an athlete can climb in six minutes).

Footage of Rahayu’s incredible display began making its rounds on social media on Monday and quickly gained huge amounts of attention from people across the world.

In case you were wondering whether this was a one-off event, Rahayu has been nicknamed ‘Spiderwoman’ since another stand-out performance in 2018.

She was also the only Indonesian athlete to appear on Forbes Asia’s “30 under 30” list, so she has an excellent track record and a very bright future. 

Some people argue that speed climbing lacks any focus on technique or concentration, but after watching the footage of Rahayu scaling the wall, it’s almost impossible to agree.

It’s clear that before the race even began, Rahayu had planned a route based on the location and angles of the holds, which she managed to execute to perfection as soon as the timer started. 

Rahayu managed an average speed of 7.71 km/h over the 15 meters, which is the equivalent of running 5K in 39 minutes (while doing pull-ups). A very impressive performance from the young star.

We look forward to seeing Rahayu go for gold next summer in Tokyo.

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