China dominates BMX freestyle and speed climbing events at Olympic qualifier series in Shanghai

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Gold medalist Zhou Yafei (C) of China, silver medalist Rajiah Sallsabillah (L) of Indonesia and bronze medalist Natalia Kalucka of Poland celebrate during the awarding ceremony of the women's speed of sport climbing at the Olympic Qualifier Series Shanghai in east China's Shanghai. Source: Xinhua News

19th May 2024 – (Beijing) China’s cycling BMX freestyle and speed climbing athletes showcased their prowess at the Olympic Qualifier Series (OQS) in Shanghai, leaving a mark on the international stage. The event witnessed a remarkable podium sweep by Chinese cyclists in the women’s park final, while Indonesia’s Veddriq Leonardo set a new Asian record in men’s speed climbing.

Under the watchful eye of International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach, Sun Sibei, Sun Jiaqi, and Deng Yawen secured the top three spots in the women’s park final. The enthusiastic crowd at the Huangpu Riverside witnessed exceptional performances by the Chinese cyclists, earning them well-deserved victories. However, according to the rules, only a maximum of two athletes from each participating delegation can compete in the same event at the Paris Olympics, which poses a selection challenge for the Chinese team.

Deng Yawen expressed her gratitude towards the collective efforts of the team, acknowledging the crucial role played by the entire staff and her fellow cyclists during training. Regardless of who ultimately qualifies for Paris, Deng emphasized that it will be an honor for the entire team.

France’s Anthony JeanJean claimed victory in the men’s category, delivering an impressive first run. He was followed by Australian Olympic champion Logan Martin and Britain’s reigning world champion, Darren David Kieran Reilly.

In women’s speed climbing, China’s Zhou Yafei emerged victorious, defeating Indonesia’s Rajiah Sallsabillah to secure her first world title. Meanwhile, Poland’s Natalia Kalucka, ranked second in the world, clinched the bronze medal, surpassing China’s Niu Di.

Veddriq Leonardo of Indonesia made history by setting a new Asian record in the men’s speed climbing final, completing the course in a remarkable 4.83 seconds. This achievement came after China’s Wu Peng, the world’s top-ranked climber, had recently broken the Asian record and claimed gold at the 2024 IFSC Climbing World Cup. Wu Peng settled for silver, while China’s Wang Xinshang secured the bronze medal.

The competition also featured breaking, with China’s Qi Xiangyu, Zeng Yingying, and Liu Ziyan advancing to the last 16 after the morning pre-selection and evening pre-qualifiers.

In the skateboarding women’s street semifinal, Tokyo Olympic champion Momiji Nishiya of Japan faced an unexpected exit, while China’s Cui Chenxi and Zeng Wenhui secured spots in the final, scheduled for Sunday.