XI'AN, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese climber Niu Di finished in 6.74 seconds to win gold in the women's speed climbing final at China's 14th National Games here on Tuesday, surpassing the current world record of 6.84 seconds set by Poland's Aleksandra Miroslaw at the Tokyo Olympics.
Niu, who celebrates her 25th birthday on Wednesday, ranked first in the qualification round with a national record of 6.98 seconds. She admitted that the final had pushed her to the limit as she felt a lot of pressure from rival Deng Lijuan, who finished in 6.92 seconds for the silver medal.
"My mind completely went blank and all I could rely on was my muscle memory. The National Games is far more difficult than competing abroad, because the fastest two female climbers are in China," said Niu, adding that she hoped to bring the record to China upon returning to the international stage.
Trained as a speed-specialized climber, Niu didn't compete in Tokyo where the three disciplines of speed, boulder and lead were combined into one event. She ranked fifth in the 2019 IFSC Climbing World Cup.
No Chinese climber competed at the 2021 IFSC Climbing World Championships in Moscow this September because of COVID-19-related restrictions. Enditem