Saturday, 10 August 2013

Imst European Championships

To finish my trip of Europe I had the European Championships in Imst, Austria, like the Zillertal it was surrounded by the most beautiful mountains. I had only one aim for this competition to make the final. The last European at Ratho I came 11th place even though I came 8th and 10th on my qualifier routes and was gutted, so this time I wanted to make it. Although I wasn't sure if it was possible, the field would be much larger and I found out we had fifty people in our category! This didn't fill me with hope but I knew I could do it.

After a couple days chilling, it was the day to perform. I saw my first qualifier and it was the one I wanted to get! Maybe I would get lucky. It had a short bit of vertical wall before going into slightly overhanging for ages. All the holds looked pretty good and people where getting split up on the route so it would be hard all the way through. I had a clean just before I climbed, even more luck. I waited focused. Trying to keep myself in the zone that will get me into the final. I pulled on, the vertical wall was easy, I was calm and chilled. I kept pulling on the small crimps, making sure to get every move perfect. I was doing well, getting past a hard cross through move, where a lot had fallen. I was a bit pumped and did a big move to some slopers, I got a pinch thing and slapped again, stuck the hold but my foot popped of and I slipped and fell. No! I knew as I fell that I could have got higher but maybe that would have been enough. After looking at the scoreboard I saw they hadn't given me the hold! I decided I wanted to appeal and Ian thought it was a good shout. After a long wait I found out my appeal had been rejected because my foot had popped when I was holding it! This was annoying and I said to someone 'I bet that will be the difference between me just missing out and making the final'.

First Qualifier
I couldn't dwell on those thoughts though because it was time for my next climb and I was up pretty early. Also my second qualifier was the one I wanted and I felt sure that I could put a good effort in and make a good position. I read the route and got beta from Molly who had already climbed the route, warmed up and went to tie on below the route. I watched the people before me fall of low down not even on the top steep section. This qualifier would decided whether I made final or not, I had to do my best. I climbed the first section easily and felt really solid on it all, then I was shook up by a sketchy sequence where I got my feet wrong and had to reverse to correct my mistake, It was only a small mistake and I recovered what I lost at a rest higher up. Now was the steep section that nobody else had reached, all the holds where good and I pulled really hard, but I was getting pumped and as I reached into an undercut I had barely got anything left, I slapped and stuck the next hold, desperately trying to recover there with a quick shake, the next moves were huge and I gave it all I got, I stuck the first crimp thing, moved my feet to go again, went for it, I had the distance, my fingers curled over and slipped off. I was off.

Second Qualifier
I hoped it was good enough. At the time I was in first place and I watched as my position slipped and slipped at 5th I went away because it was too tense to watch, Once everyone had finished I went to check the results. I was tense as I waited for my results, then my heart sank as I saw I had come 12th place, and if I had one the appeal I would have been in 9th. Another disappointment, although I came 12th this one was even closer than the Ratho, and I felt I climb to my best, I just didn't have the luck. Maybe I just wasn't good enough, but maybe my failure would lead to success. I don't know.

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