Indonesians Kiromal Katibin and Veddriq Leonardo are the best speed climbers in the world and they are like brothers: they travel and compete together and always support each other.
They only compete in one discipline and therefore did not qualify for Tokyo 2020, where sport climbing made its Olympic debut with a combination of speed, bouldering and lead climbing.
But at Paris 2024 the format changes and speed climbing will be own set of medals.
The two Indonesians were looking forward to this, because speed requires a different kind of training than bouldering and lead climbing.
“We want to realize the same dream: to be part of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris together,” said Katibin.
“My dream is to get a gold medal for Indonesia at Paris 2024,” added Kiromal, smashing his own world record in July at the World Cup event in Charmonix, France by scoring a membrane rupture 5.009 seconds!
You can catch Katibin and Leonardo in action this weekend at the home World Cup event in Jakarta live on Olympics.com.
24 – 26 Sept
Sport Climbing | Lead & Speed in the World Cup | jakarta
Indonesia’s dominance in speed climbing
Indonesian speed climbers own all world records in this event:
- 5.00 Kiromal Katibin – 8 July 2022. IFSC World Cup in Charmonix, France
- 5.04 Kiromal Katibin – June 30, 2022. IFSC World Cup in Villars, Switzerland
- 5.09 Kiromal Katibin – May 21, 2022. IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA
- 5.17 Kiromal Katibin – May 6, 2022. IFSC World Championship in Seoul, South Korea
- 5.20 Veddriq Leonardo – May 28, 2021. IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA
- 5.25 Kiromal Katibin – May 28, 2021. IFSC World Cup in Salt Lake City, USA
And not just for men. Dear Indonesian Aries Susanti was a role model for them: she held the world record for women for almost a year 6.99 seconds.
Olympics.com spoke exclusively to Katibin and Leonardo during the World Cup event in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Olympics.com (O): Indonesia is known to have strong speed climbers. Why do you think you’re so good? What is your nation’s secret of success?
Kiromal Katbin (KK): “I think it’s because we always train together as a couple family and we always support each other. That’s the key.”
Veddriq Leonardo (VL): “Indonesia has many talented athletes in speed climbing, because when we were recruited by the national team, we not only trained physically, but also trained very hard mental. We had several technical training sessions five times a week. These are our success factors that have made us a very strong team.”
O: What is the most important skill to be a good speed climber?
CC: “The most important aspect is the mentality. A good speed climber has to be mentally very strong, especially in the final laps of a competition.”
VL: “What speed climbers need to bring with them is good physical condition, technique and mentality. These three components lead to success.”
Veddriq Leonardo and Kiromal Katibin at a competition in the USA
Image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports
O: You can scale a 15 meter high speed wall in 5 seconds. What else can you do in five seconds?
CC: “Mmmmm. Drink? Tie a shoe?” [laughs]
VL: “Maybe I can send a WhatsApp message.” [laughs]
If you can tie a shoe in the meantime, give it a try and watch this video:
O: How did you get into this sport?
VL: “Before I became a speed climber, I practiced lead and bouldering, but didn’t progress at all. That’s why I switched to Speed in 2014. At that time we had some role models in the discipline like Aries Susantiwho has already competed at international level.”
O: How are the training conditions in Indonesia?
CC: “We are like a family. Like I said before, we support each other, we are one team. We train very hard: morning, afternoon, evening and night. We train together and I am very happy to be able to compete with my friend Veddriq Leonardo. We want to achieve that too Dream: to be together at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.”
We want to realize the same dream: to be part of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris together. -Kiromal Katibin
rivals and brothers
O: Veddriq, how is your relationship with Kiromal? How important is it to you to have him on your team and travel to competitions together?
VL: “Kiromal and I are like brothers. He lets me be more focused and train harder because it’s us rivals and brothers at the same time.”
O: What will be your goal at Paris 2024?
CC: “At the next Olympics, speed climbing will be a separate event, we will have our own medals. We couldn’t qualify for Tokyo when sport climbing made its Olympic debut because we specialize in speed, so our goal will be to win a gold medal in Paris.”
VL: “Since Indonesia is one of the strongest nations in speed climbing, we have to seize this opportunity. We can have a chance to win titles I think optimistic from that. My dream is to get a gold medal for Indonesia at Paris 2024.”
We are one of the strongest nations in speed climbing, we have to take advantage of this opportunity. – Veddriq Leonardo
Indonesia at the Olympic Games
Indonesia took part 16 Olympic Games, win overall 37 medals: 8 gold, 14 silver and 15 bronze
21 of these medals come from badmintonone of the most popular sports in the country.
Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu’s victory in women’s doubles in Tokyo was a historic moment for the country as they became the first women’s doubles team to win gold at the Olympics.
Besides badminton, Indonesia is also a strong nation in sports weightliftingwith another 15 medals in total.
Will add Kiromal and Veddriq sport climbing medals to this list?
Speed climbing in Paris 2024
The Paris 2024 sport climbing competition will take place from August 5th to 10th, 2024 Le Bourgetbut the road to Paris begins in 2023 with three ways to qualify: the 2023 World Championship, the 2023 Continental Qualifiers and the 2024 Olympic Qualifier Series.
Here you can find out more about the qualification process in this discipline.
Did you know that the speed climbing wall is always the same? And that the athletes ride the exact same route called Beta? Two-time world champion Aleksandra Miroslaw explains how the fastest sport at the Olympics works: