New Climbing Speed Record by Impressive Indonesian ‘Spiderwoman’

Indonesia’s Aries Susanti Rahayu broke the women’s speed climbing world record at this weekend’s IFSC Climbing World Cup in Xiamen, China. She did it despite her nagging hand and finger injuries. The impressive athlete beat the previous record holder Yi Ling Song of China in the final, achieving a time of 6.995 seconds. The previous record holder had finished the 15-meter course in 7.101 seconds in April.

Get to know ‘Spiderwoman’

Rahayu used to climb trees in parks when she was a child. In 2007, she was introduced to sport climbing by her teacher in high school. That year, she competed in the Climbing World Cup for the first time, and won her first (silver) medal at the World Cup in Xiamen. She became third in speed in the 2017 Asian Championships in Iran, Tehran,

It was in 2018 that she got her first gold medal at the Climbing World Cup in Chongqing. Later, she got one bronze medal in Tai’an and two more gold medals at the World Cups in Wujiang and Xiamen, in China. She ended up second in the overall ranking in the speed discipline at the end of the 2018 season.

Eventually she ended up on the Forbes Asia’s 30 Under 30 list in 2019.

What is speed climbing exactly?

Speed climbing is one of the three disciplines of the climbing event that will take place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It can be described as a climbing triatlon: athletes who compete will be graded on their results of speed climbing: a timed race between two competitors on a 15-meter wall, bouldering: a graded course with multiple routes of different difficulty to be completed in 4 minutes and lead climbing: how high a climber can go in 6 minutes, all combined.

Rahayu can be called a speed climbing specialist. She was called “Spiderwoman” after an exceptional 2018 performance, the 24-year-old will likely compete for gold next summer in Tokyo.

To realize how quickly Rahayu reached the top of the wall, she averaged a speed of roughly 7.71 km/h over 15 meters. Rahayu managed to keep that pace while running up a wall with obstacles. Note that Rayahu’s opponent,  the former world record holder Yiling, slips at the beginning of the race but still manages to complete the course in under 10 seconds.

Why not watch the impressive accomplishment yourself?