Polish climber Miroslaw sets Games pace

Aleksandra Miroslaw (r) is setting the pace after the first leg of the climbing's Olympic debut.
Aleksandra Miroslaw (r) is setting the pace after the first leg of the climbing's Olympic debut.

Aleksandra Miroslaw has come within reach of Russian rival Iuliia Kaplina's speed climbing world record to top the charts after the first leg of the sport's Olympic debut.

The Polish climber clocked 6.97 seconds up the 15-metre wall in Tokyo to claim the first stage, missing Kaplina's world mark by .01 seconds.

Kaplina may have bettered it later in the event, but slipped on the final foothold as she launched to stop the clock.

The Russian (7.65) still finished fifth overall, with Australian 19-year-old Oceania Mackenzie (8.83) 13th after she too slipped trying to better her first run.

Climbers will also complete a bouldering stage and lead stage.

Bouldering is a problem-solving test on four previously unsighted low wall sections and lead is a technical climb against the clock.

The top eight women will progress to the finals on the Tokyo waterfront at Aomi Urban Sports Park.

Twenty men, including Australian Tom O'Halloran, debuted the sport in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Mickael Mawem topped the qualifying charts, while older brother Bassa, who had won the sprint event, was forced to pull out of finals after the French climber ruptured his bicep in the lead event.

Australian Associated Press