Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Three comps....three weekends!

1st up was Rd 2 of the bouldering world cup and my first of the season, i felt strong and fit going into it and training had been going well. Qualifiers were a nerve wracking affair with the field split into 2 groups so the top ten going through from each group. i finished 9th in my group having comfortably flashed 4 out of 5 problems. Semi finals did not go so well, two very wide problems and one that no one looked even close to doing, although that was the one i felt closest to doing! oh well it was good to make the semi's again especially in such a strong field.

Next up was an open international in Kitzbuhel, part of the Austrian cup. I felt bad during the qualifiers, probably down to nerves at the free for all format with as many goes as you liked on the problems! Thankfully i made it through to the semi's the next day. Warming up i felt much better than the previous day, thats what rest days do for you! I proceeded to flash two problems out of the four, good enough to put me in 2nd place and the final. I still felt strong warming up, if a little nervous it only being my 2nd international final. The first problem was the easiest, everyone did it, although not first go, i managed to flash it and felt good and relaxed me a little bit. The 2nd problem was a horrendous pull onto the slab using a razor for one hand only and bad feet. Everyone seemed to have a bad time on this one, i came out brushed the hold and it felt good, the move felt easy, that go, as i dropped the top and could not pull on again! The third problem was another hard one and i knew by the crowds reaction that no one had topped it. A few failled attempts and a quick rest i pulled on with 20 seconds to go, the knee slid perfectly into the knee bar and i grabbed the penultimate hold, but i could feel the familiar friend "pump" setting in and launched for the last hold/volume and to my surprise latched it, i was in the lead.
The final problem came round far too quickly and i knew that i needed it but only had one go left in my arms. I could feel the crowd willing me up it or maybe that was just the small British contingent! i was agonisingly close to latching the last hold, but it was not to be, and i ended up in a slightly disapointing 5th but had great fun getting there. Here's a video of the third problem in the final. There's more videos of the other problems on youtube.

The final comp was the Plywood masters at Boulder UK in Blackburn, I greased through the qualifiers in 2nd, and still felt strong going into the final, were i topped all five problems dropping one once. 2nd was Ned who has not been training too much due to his dissertation, would have been nice to have been a bit closer! Finally i had won something, after far too many 2nds to even mention!

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