Tuesday, 27 August 2013

World Youth Championships

Without a doubt my biggest competition of the year, my first World Championships and what a place to have them in Canada! I'd never been out of Europe, although this didn't intimidate me I was buzzing for it. Even getting selected was a push for me, I had to top all the routes at the selection day, on one I dropped the second to last move. I was gutted and thought that was it, but fortune favoured me and Ian, our team manager still thought it was good enough. So I trained really hard to prove that I was worth taking, after the first two internationals behind me and a 11th and 12th place under my belt, I felt I was ready for the Worlds.

Canada is far away and the first part of my journey was by train to London, after saying goodbye to my parents, with my mum getting quite emotional, I jumped on. Basically met Alex on the train watched a climbing film. First massive panic of the trip was when the room where my luggage was had been locked when I got of! Had a total culture shock when I asked a lady cleaning up about it and she couldn't understand my English! Yeah, already seemed like I was abroad. Taking a tube for the first time to the Westway was new. There we met Molly and Nathan, almost straight away Nathan had to go to catch his train. Then headed back for some training. Almost topped an 8a flash, not bad! It was looking good for Canada.

We stayed the night at Molly's house, and flew the next day, it took 8 hours and was a good time to watch a load of films. We arrived in Canada, it was cool, the airport had jellyfish! It took about an hour to get to our hotel. Hotel was good yeah, we chilled out until the end of the day.

For the rest day, we just chilled out, looked round town, messed about the normal. I got over jeg lag pretty quick and was fine by the time of the competition. So Friday came, and I was pleased to find myself about 30th just after Jim. Our route looked really cool with a roof in the middle and top. Yipee powerful! I was just scared about the weird looking start. Nobody was falling on it so I was reassured. I warmed up, chatted, got psyched and soon I was sitting in the preparation chairs getting ready. I watched Jim fall just before the final roof, on two big slopers. Now I was up, I had to make top 26 to make semi-finals so I would have to work for it. The start was easy and I climb relaxed. Thinking about each move and making it well. I pulled past the first roof. Then I made a mistake, I messed up a climb and this shook me. I climbed past the next crimpy section and was starting to feel pumped. I got to the first sloper undercut and went for the cross-through. I stuck it but had twist out and I just slipped off. I knew I could have done better but was please and I had was easily in the top 26.

After a good performance yesterday, the pressure was off for the second qualifier so I could really go for it. Our route was steep, climbing the best bit of the wall. This time I didn't watch Jim because I thought it might effect my mental attitude to the climb for the worse. I was once again under the wall, feeling more relaxed this time and able to get the right focus. The first section was easy, like pulling on jugs, but then it got harder, there was a hard cross-through at the start of the steep section. I took a rest after that although it wasn't really a rest, but I got some back. I kept going, through my heel up and did the move that were Jim fell although I didn't know that, I was then rocking onto the vertical wall when my foot popped! I desperately clung-on realing in the swing but I was now totally boxed, I just got the next move could barely hold on and wasn't even able to get the plus. And making a fool of myself during a breathless interview afterward.

So after qualification I was in 15th place, perfect, my aim was top 15 and I was in the perfect place for it. After the next rest day, it was the semi-finals. First time in isolation for an international! Was really weird not being able to watch people. Viewing was cool, I always like it because it is just cool to be in a huge group going out to look at routes. I know sounds fun. I was lucky I said I wanted this bit of wall and I got it! It was steep, with another prow section with big volumes. Looked fun. So isolation was pretty boring and I just warmed up. I was a bit nervous, as I walked out, breathed, felt the buzz of the crowd. The biggest route of the year. Climbing for a place in the finals. I walked out, immediately went through the route again in my head. I got told to climb almost straight away, I started. I felt light, and strong like I could pull forever, but I knew I couldn't so I went fast. First roof was done in a flash, not even tired, I found a super rest and stayed there for a while, just chilling. Then I got the next roof, with a hard clip and I got the start of the feature section. It got loads more powerful now, but I could still do the moves. I got to a massive move and I couldn't see the hold I was going for. I went hoping I'd hit it right, I did! The next hold was awful and I could barely pull on it. I panicked, I didn't know what to do, I looked this way and that trying to find some trick, I couldn't I jumped for the plus but was never going to get the move.

I could have done better, I know, I realised that you had to put a heel up and squeeze the volume, it was obvious once I knew! Oh well, I waited for the results and I had finished in 13th position. Good I'd made my goal. Time to chill and enjoy the finals.

The worlds were defiantly an amazing experience to have, the competition was great, I just hope I get to go next year! So whats next, two more competitions, the last EYC in Norway, my last chance to final fingers crossed and a bouldering cup in France which will be my first international boulder competition, so hope it goes well. By the way thanks for all the support I got through-out that competition it really was amazing!
Sponsors: Rock and Rapid Adventures
Troll Outdoor

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