Published: 10:55, April 13, 2024
American Watson breaks world speed record twice in an hour
By Reuters
Sam Watson (right) of the United States in action during a speed climbing competition of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Cup Series 2024, in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China, April 12, 2024. (PHOTO / FACEBOOK ACCOUNT OF IFSC)

Teenager Sam Watson broke the speed climbing world record twice in under an hour at a World Cup competition in China on Friday, signaling his status as one of the favorites for gold at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Watson, 18, from the United States broke the previous world record of 4.90 seconds by Indonesia's Veddriq Leonardo when he scaled the 15-meter wall in 4.85 seconds in his first run.

Watson is ranked number eight in the world and will make his debut at the Paris Olympics, having already qualified last October

He followed that up with 4.79 seconds in his second attempt to lower his own best mark further.

Watson is ranked number eight in the world and will make his debut at the Paris Olympics, having already qualified last October.

Climbing made its debut at the Tokyo Olympics. There will be two events for male and female competitors in Paris, a speed and combined bouldering and lead competition.