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American Emma Hunt takes silver at speed climbing worlds, qualifies for Olympics

Emma Hunt


American Emma Hunt won a silver medal at the world championships in sport climbing’s speed event and qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“I’m very surprised,” she said. “It feels like I can take a breath, like so much pressure and just can finally breathe.”

Hunt, a 20-year-old from Georgia, beat world record holder Aleksandra Mirosław of Poland in Thursday’s semifinals in Bern, Switzerland, to earn one of the first two Olympic spots in the event.

Miroslaw slipped just after the start of their duel and did not finish.

Desak Made Rita Kusuma Dewi of Indonesia then beat Hunt in the final — 6.492 seconds to 6.672.

Hunt was the 2021 World Cup season champion, then finished second in last year’s World Cup standings.

Climbing debuted at the Olympics in Tokyo as one event per gender combining results from the bouldering, lead and speed disciplines. Nathaniel Coleman was the top American, taking silver.

For Paris, climbing is split into two medal events per gender: one speed event and one event combining bouldering and lead.

Worlds finish with boulder and lead finals the next two days with more Olympic spots at stake.