Emma Hunt after competing in the Speed Finals of the IFSC Climbing World Cup in Salt Lake City on Friday May 27 2022.
Emma Hunt raced up the wall in American record time — twice — before ultimately finishing second in the women’s speed climbing event Friday in the second consecutive weekend of world cup competition in Salt Lake City.
The 19-year-old Hunt broke her own the U.S. record twice in the qualifying round with times of 7.17 and 7.05 seconds, putting her in third place. Then she won three straight in the head-to-head knockout rounds before falling to Poland’s Aleksandra Miroslaw in the final.
Miroslaw, a two-time world champion and the current world record holder, reached the top in 6.54 seconds while Hunt missed a grip partway up the wall and fell.
The result was an improvement over Hunt’s fourth-place finish last weekend in Salt Lake City and matched her career best finish in a world cup.
Samuel Watson and John Brosler were the top U.S. men Friday, both reaching the quarterfinals.
Sport climbing was added to the Olympics for the 2020 Games with a combined event in which athletes competed in all three disciplines: bouldering, lead and speed. The climbing program for the 2024 Games in Paris will include two medal events for men and women: one combining bouldering and lead, and the other a standalone speed competition.
Hunt, of Woodstock, Georgia, is already a rising star in speed having won the 2019 youth world title. She has previously finished second in a world cup event twice — last year in Salt Lake City, and earlier this month in Seoul, South Korea.
The Salt Lake City world cup continues through Sunday with competition in bouldering. Americans Natalia Grossman and Olympian Brooke Raboutou finished 1-2 in the women’s bouldering contest last weekend.