Aleksandra Miroslaw added more history to an already groundbreaking week of sport climbing at the Tokyo Olympics, breaking the women's speed climbing world record in the discipline's final round.
Miroslaw ascended the 15-meter-high (49 ft) wall in 6.84 seconds, chopping .12 off the previous mark set by Russian climber Iuliia Kaplina at the 2020 European Championships.
Speed climbing, the first of three disciplines contested as part of the Olympic combined format, pits climbers against each other in side-by-side races to the top of a predetermined route. Unlike in sport climbing's other disciplines — bouldering and lead climbing — the speed climbing route never changes and is identical on every competition wall around the world. Because of this, athletes are able to memorize movements on their way to the electronic timing pad above.
Miroslaw, a 27-year-old speed climbing specialist from Poland, produced the record climb in the final matchup of the round to beat out France's Anouck Jaubert for the top spot in the discipline. Winning one of the three combined disciplines is an invaluable step toward the Olympic podium. Climbers' rankings in the speed climbing, bouldering and lead climbing disciplines are multiplied together to achieve their final ranking score, with the lowest score winning gold. Miroslaw will carry a multiplier of 1 into the final two disciplines.
Miroslaw was also fastest up the speed wall in qualification, allowing her to advance to Friday's eight-climber final despite finishing tied for last in bouldering and 19th out of 20 on the lead wall. She will have to perform significantly better in those disciplines to finish on the podium.