Poland's Aleksandra Miroslaw retained her IFSC speed climbing world title in Japan ©Getty Images

Aleksandra Miroslaw of Poland defended her title today as speed finals took centre stage at the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) World Championships in Japan.

Italy’s Ludovico Fossali took the honours in the men’s competition at Ésforta Arena Hachiōji.

The 25-year-old Polish climber, who won in Innsbruck last year under her maiden name of Rudzinska, clocked 7.129sec in the final to defeat Di Niu of China, who finished in 8.363.

Fossali, ranked fifth in the world, ensured that his first World Championship medal would be golden when he finished ahead of Austria’s Jan Kriz, third in last month’s IFSC Climbing World Cup in the Swiss resort of Villars.

Both athletes stumbled at the same point in the decisive run, but while Kriz fell, Fossali recovered to finish in 6.871.

In the small finals, Stanislav Kokorin of Russia earned men’s bronze ahead of Ukraine’s Danyil Boldyrev, while the women’s bronze went to France’s Anouck Jaubert following a slip by China’s world record holder YiLing Song.

The event resumes tomorrow with combined qualification.