Wai Ching conquers Taipei 101 to emerge as World Champion in towerrunning

Wai Ching conquers Taipei 101 to emerge as World Champion in towerrunning

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian towerrunner Soh Wai Ching emerged as the World Champion in the 2024 Towerrunning World Championships after conquering the Taipei 101 in Taiwan, on Saturday (May 4).

The 30-year-old, who previously finished third in his debut in the 2018 edition, claimed the title with the overall time of 18 minutes and 36.62 seconds in the championship that attracted 6,000 participants internationally from over 40 countries, after the biennial tournament was postponed since 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wai Ching completed the first round of full 91 floors (390m elevation gain) in 11:35.61s, while he took 7:1.01s to climb 59 floors (256m elevation gain) in the second round.

Japan’s Ryoji Watanabe (18:40.04s) and Australian Mark Bourne (9:33.12) finished second and third, respectively, according to the tournament’s official website.

ALSO READ: Tower runner Wai Ching eyes tight grip on no 1 ranking for another decade

Malaysia Towerrunning Association (MTA) President Ravinder Singh in a statement said, Malaysia has achieved a significant milestone in the sport after Wai Ching crowned himself as the new World Champion.

“Journey to the top has been a testament to his dedication and consistency, having been at the peak of his game since 2020. After four years of maintaining his high performance, he has earned the ultimate towerrunning accolade,” he said.

Meanwhile, Towerrunning World Association President Daniel Cecetka expressed openness to the idea of Malaysia hosting the next World Championship in 2026.

“Kuala Lumpur, with its impressive skyline and ranking as the seventh city with the most buildings over 300 meters, could serve as an ideal location for larger towerrunning events. This prospect holds great promise for the continued growth and popularity of the sport in Malaysia,” he was quoted as saying in the same statement.

Results of the other Malaysians:

Men:

11. Muhammad Hazim Zuhairi bin Azahari – 21:43.78s

16. Saddam Pittli – 23:32.33s

43. Ravinder Singh – 50:08.02s

Women:

7. Tan Bee Kiang – 26:35.07

10. Nurul Juliana Shakira Abdul Halim – 27:38.40s

21. Valerie Sarah Ong 32:26.25z

26. Chan Yee Chin – 37:25.75s

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