Sam Watson Sets New World Record in Wujiang

The USA woke up to news of not one but two world record times set by Sam Watson at the IFSC World Cup Wujiang 2024.

Speed climbing’s first World Cup of the season is just getting started, but Watson wasted no time during the Men’s Qualification round. During his first run of the day, he hit the buzzer at just 4.85 seconds, beating the previous world record of 4.90 seconds held by Indonesia’s Veddriq Leonardo. During Watson’s second run of the day, he shaved another .06 seconds off of his own record, cementing the new world record at 4.79 seconds.

Watson, who traveled to China from his home in Texas, is one of six USA Climbing athletes already qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Kicking off this weekend’s competition with the world’s fastest time in speed climbing is proof enough that you don’t want to miss Watson’s 2024 season.

Meanwhile, Emma Hunt of Georgia finished 1st in the women’s qualification round, the first time she’s ever done so at a World Cup. Like Watson, Hunt is no stranger to smashing speed records – she broke her own Women’s Speed Pan American Record (6.67 seconds) and set the Women’s Speed American Record (6.54 seconds) just one month ago at the USA Climbing National Team Trials. Her time at Wujiang was the fastest of the day for the women, clocking in at just 6.44 seconds.

Official competition results can be found here. You can watch the IFSC World Cup Wujiang 2024 live (or on-demand at any time after the event) on the IFSC YouTube Channel.

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