American Watson breaks world speed record twice in an hour

By Reuters
April 14, 2024
Olympic athlete Sam Watson. — USA Climbing Website/File

SHANGHAI: Teenager Sam Watson broke the speed climbing world record twice in under an hour at a World Cup competition in China on Friday, signalling his status as one of the favourites 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.

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.