world youth championship – the biggest comp of the year
This year the comp was organized on the beach in Singapore, more precisely at Sentosa Island. After our national training camp in Innsbruck I felt confident and ready for this year’s championship. Our team, Jakob, me and our coach arrived in Singapore Sunday evening, which gave us two extra days to train and to go sightseeing and shopping.
The comp started on Wednesday morning with the first route. Unfortunately the route setters totally missed on the level with almost all the girls falling on the same move in the beginning, or halfway up the wall, like I did. The route was nice, but way too hard. I think only three girls got past the hard cross over move in the middle. I placed 6th after the first route, which was promising for the next route on Thursday. I was one of the last one to climb the 2nd qualification route, and with 5 climbers left before me the rain started and everything got delayed for hours. After a couple of hours the skies cleared up and we could continue the 2nd round. The level on this route was a lot better than the first one, and people were falling on different places. The route was quite straight up and with a boulder style. I fell on the third last move quite tired and happy with my climbing, even though my right hand popped. In this route I was 5th which gave me a 6th place in total before the semi-final.
The semi-finals were supposed to start Friday morning, but due to a monsoon rain storm, which looked more like a waterfall than rain, it got delayed for many hours. At one time it looked like there wouldn’t be any semi-final, but luckily the rain stopped and the wall dried up so we got to climb. Because of my result from the qualifiers I started as number 21, and while I was sitting in the chair preparing for my climb, people were falling off like flies. Which only meant it was gonna be hard. This route was perfect for a semi-final with people falling all over the route, but still got two tops. I got quite pumped half way up, but I managed to climb almost all the way to the top and placing 6th again, but because of the qualifiers and countback I placed 7th, which meant I advanced for finals again. My first final was last year, where I ended up 3rd, but the level this year is a lot higher. So I was happy just to advance for finals.
My category, female junior started climbing at 10 pm so I got some hours rest before it was time to warm up again. In the final heat it was four girls from asia, three European girls who only compete in the world cup, and me. Four of them have already been in several world cup finals and three on podium, so this meant the level of the heat was HIGH. I was just happy to be in finals with these strong and inspiring girls, so everything was a bonus and a blast. But because of my result from last year, I also knew I could do well. Climbing finals felt amazing, even though my climbing could have been better. It was good up to about half way, and then I struggled with a clip and got pumped. But I managed to climb a few more moves and then fell. Once again, I fell on the same move as Laura (FRA) but because of the qualifiers I ended up 7th. And I’m very happy about my result. Even though a 3rd place from last year might look better at the paper, this final for sure felt a lot better because of all the strong girls.
Considering everything that has happened the last year with injury, several months of rest, painful finger and not an optimal training season, this competition couldn’t have gone any better. In the beginning of the year, I didn’t know if there was a point of going to Singapore, if I would ever get back to the level I had, or if I could ever compete again. I didn’t even know if I wanted to compete again. After the accident I got afraid when I climbed, I was frustrated because it was still the thing I loved the most, but also the thing that made me most scared and frustrated. And now, almost one year later, I’m at the same level, if not better and enjoying it even more than ever. Because I know how it feels to not be able to climb, I try to enjoy every trip I go to, every comp I participate in and appreciate the life I’m living.
Next up on the agenda is the World Championship in Paris, hopefully the world cup in Puurs and then the Nordic championship in Sweden, before a month of training and the last part of the season with the European Championship, the world cup and eyc in Slovenia and the Norwegian championship, all in November.
More pictures (press to get them big);
the beautiful beach
in iso with the team slovenia and serbia(photo by Garick Bay), and team norway on sightsseing
the beach and the wall again