Speed climbing is essentially a minor discipline of climbing, where two athletes climb next to each other on a standardised wall of 10 or 15 metres, and the winner is the one who first touches an electronic plate positioned at the end of the course.
A sport that made the big guns of climbing frown
Yet, it must be said, Honnold himself is no stranger to the pursuit of speed in his performance.
A vertical race
As he explained himself, during the shooting of Up to Speed, a film made by Senders Films and Big-up Productions for the Reel Rock 2018 series, he created the route within three hours and, since then, it has been used substantially without modifications for all speed climbing competitions.
The execution requires a sequence of 17 moves that athletes must make in the shortest possible time. It is almost a vertical race in which muscle memory plays a fundamental role and where everything ends in a matter of seconds.
Between Russia and Southeast Asia, where speed climbing is at home
Anouck Jaubert is one of the few European women athletes capable of defying the Russian might and, in October 2018, she won in Wujiang the second world title in a race that saw the Indonesian Susanti Rahayu on the top step of the podium and in third place the Russian Mariia Krasavina. Finally, for the United States, we have John Brosler, who has been speed climbing since 2009, though he is the first to admit that in America the discipline has not reached the same popularity as in Russia or Asia.
Speed climbing in Italy
Furthermore, we have to mention Stefano Ghisolfi - second in the world ranking and among the four holders of the 9b - to be favoured to represent Italy at the next Games in Tokyo 2020. Will speed climbing find new impetus for the fact that it has become an Olympic discipline? Without a doubt, even the strongest climbers will have to undergo specific training to excel in this very special discipline and it is not excluded that someone will get passionate ... the games are open!