2nd place finish!As you may have known, there was a world cup in Vienna on May 29th and 30th. There was 81 competitors for the men and and 51 for the women. This was my second world cup of 2009. We drove to Vienna from Innsbruck on Thursday. The drive took about 5 and a half hours because there was some construction. My GPS took us straight to our hotel which was just across the street from the competition. Friday morning was the qualification for the women. Because it was supposed to rain all day on Friday, they arranged qualifyers to be held in the climbing gym rather than on the competition wall they had build outside. We watched the women for a couple of hours and scoped out the climbing gym. It was pretty cool, lots of interesting features and of course a couple of slab climbs for the first qualifyer. Mens qualification was just after the women and thankfully we didnt have to be in isolation until after their round wad done. Since there was over 80 competitors registered, they decided to split the field in half and put them on two different sets of problems. The way they seperate the field is not random, they take the climbers world ranking and split them evenly, then they randomize all the competitors that have no world ranking. So if every competitor was present the person who was ranked 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, ect would be on problem set number one and the people that were ranked 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, ect would be on problem set number two. Since 20 people make semi finals, they take top 10 competitors in each group. In semi finals, everyone climbs the same problems. The reason they make two group is because if there were 81 competitors taking 5 minutes each boulder, the last climber would have to wait in isolation for 405 minutes….
QualificationI was seeded 26th in the B group. I did my regular warm up, the area was pretty big so it wasnt that hard to get around other climbers. When it was finally my turn I was pretty nervous just like always. My first problem was a slab problem. I dont have a picture of it, but it was pretty basic just really awkward. It turns out that the slab problems were one of the hardest in qualification. On the hard move of the problem, i managed to get my knee onto the big feature and flash the problem. The second problem went around a giant egg feature. [singlepic id=39 w=320 h=240 float=] I flashed up to the last move and had a ridiculous time getting to the final hold. It was so weird, there was a really good foot and you were shooting for a pocket so you couldnt just aim randomly. I fell on the last move once and send the boulder next try. I was kind of annoyed that I had fallen once but I sucked it up and concentrated on the next boulder. The 3rd problem was a slight slab onto an overhang. I fell on the second move 3 times before finally sticking the zone hold. From there, I lunged out left to a crimp and had to hand foot match to lock off to the final hold. The reason you had to lock off to the last hold was because it was another pocket but this time they had screwed in a tiny gib on the inside of the pocket so you couldnt lunge towards it. Its a good thing I went slowly to the hold because if you had to throw for it, it was nex tot impossible to get your fingers in the right place. [singlepic id=40 w=320 h=240 float=] 3 down, 2 to go. The 4th problem in qualification was in a corner. I dry fired off the first hold and scraped up the back up my hand pretty badly. On my second try, my fingers were bleeding pretty good. I couldnt figure out a move in the middle and I didnt do the problem. The last problem looked pretty hard. Just big moves between decent holds and a kind of a jump at the end. I did the problem 3rd try after falling twice on the second move. My final score after qualification was 4 tops in 10 tries and 5 bonus in 11 tries. I finished in 3rd position in my group so 6th overall.
SemisSemi finals were on Saturday morning. I went into isolation at 10am just to have a big meeting with all the other team coaches to discuss what to do about the rain. It was pouring outside and the competition was supposed to be on the outdoor wall. The postponed semi until 12:15 when they would make their decision. We came back around 12 and it was still raining. Since the rain was going straight down with no wind, we all decided to go forth with semi finals. The crowd would get wet but the climbers wouldnt. If the rain shifted directions with some winds half way through the round, they would have to cancel the round and everyone would advance to finals. Luckily, after the first few people went out, the skies cleared and the sun came out. I went out 16th and the comp wall looked amazing. The first problem was absolutely ridiculous. [singlepic id=41 w=320 h=240 float=] I flashed to the bonus hold which was the second big triangle feature but I was absolutely stuck. I couldnt match, or go to the next hold. I shot my feet out left and tried to do anything but failed. The next couple of tries resulted in similar or worse efforts. The second boulder looked a bit scary. A little slab wall, then a jump around the lip to a big feature. [singlepic id=42 w=320 h=240 float=] I fell on the jump move 5 times before finally sticking the jump with about 12 seconds left. I campused the next move, looked over at the clock and it read 10 seconds. I quickly campused the last move and matched with seconds remainly in my time. The 3rd problem was all features. It started with a jump, then you groped the feature for a couple of moves before making your way to the next one. [singlepic id=43 w=320 h=240 float=] Then you had to get your foot up on the first feature and make a really big move to the finish. It took me about 20 seconds to do the last move, but evetually I lunged for it, flashing the problem. I was pretty sure you had to do the last problem to be in finals so I was scared and psyched at the same time. Just from being out there, I knew that a lot of people had already done the last problem. I came out confident and flashed it. It was a problem that suited me. [singlepic id=44 w=320 h=240 float=] It started with a dyno, then a huge move to a crimp, you matched that, jumped to the hold up and left, then you just had to hand foot match and lock off to the so’ill double hand hold. I finished semis with 3 tops in 8 tries and 4 bonus in 4 tries. I qualified for finals in 4th place out of 6.
FinalsFinals started at 7:30. This is only my 3rd time in finals. It starts with a presentation of the climbers followed by a 2 minute preview on each problem. After the preview, we stay just behind the wall and come out one at time for each boulder. Since we go each boulder one by one, you usually have at least 20 minute rest in between each boulder. The first one was by far the easiest. The hardest move was probably snatching the second hold because the feet were pretty high. Then you just went up the arrete, jumped to a big red feature and campused to the finishing pocket. [singlepic id=33 w=320 h=240 float=] I flashed the problem and all 6 finalist did the problem. The second problem was considerably harder. From how long the first two competitors took, I knew both of them hadnt done it. I dont know if I was more motivated to do the problem because I knew it hadnt been done or just really psyched but I did the problem second try. My first try, I slipped off the second move because I didnt move my foot to the start hold. On my second try, I put my foot in the right place and fired the problem. [singlepic id=34 w=320 h=240 float=] It was the second move that was giving everyone a hard time and once I did that move, the rest of the moves werent as hard. Only one other person in finals competed the problem after me. The third problem was another slab. The first move was a really awkward move straight up and you just had to stand there while hold a hold out left with your left hand. Then you had to shuffle your feet along the start hold and step over to another foothold. From there, you slowly made your way out left, then did a big lock off and threw for the top. [singlepic id=35 w=320 h=240 float=] On my second try, I got all the way up to the final move only to fall trying to catch the last hold. I got to the last move a couple of tries after but my left arm was just too pumped to finish the problem. Out of all 6 finalist, I was the only competitor not to do problem number 3. The fourth and last problem was also all features. It looked like a giant compression problem so I was pretty confident. I know Im good at heelhooks so I thought that I had a pretty good shot of doing the problem. Also, by the time I had to go out, I knew the first two climbers had done the problem on at least their second try. [singlepic id=36 w=320 h=240 float=] I got on and the first move was really hard, probably the hardest on the problem. I kept my heelhooks high on the features for the whole problem and finally deadpointed to the last feature. From there, all you had to do is shuffle a bit to the right and jump for the last hold. I blew on the final feature to get rid of the chalk and sent the problem! It turns out that I had to flash the last problem to come second place. If I had done the last problem on my second try, I wouldve come 3rd and if I had done it on my 3rd try, I wouldve come 4th. Rustam Gelmanov won the competition by being the only climber in finals to do all the boulders. 3rd place went to Kilian Fischhuber. Full results can be found on the IFSC Website. [singlepic id=37 w=320 h=240 float=] For the women, Aleksandra Balakireva won with Akiyo Noguchi in 2nd and Anna Stohr in 3rd. [singlepic id=38 w=320 h=240 float=] All the pictures in this post were taken by my girlfriend Mathilde Becerra.
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