Vienna World Cup 2012I am once again back in my apartment in Toulouse, France after 5 weeks of competition. It’s been an adventure and I’ve come back to Toulouse for some more training until the next world cup which comes up in a mere 3 weeks. The next world cup is on the May 18-19th weekend in Innsbruck, Austria. As mentioned before, I competed in 5 different competitions in 4 different competitions in 5 weeks. Yes it’s a lot, and I’m pretty tired. I’ve already been back to the gym once for training and it felt good. I’m a bit sore in my shoulder, specifically my right from Log-Dragomer. [singlepic id=348 w=450 h=350 float=center] After my last post, I headed to Zurich for a photo-shoot with Mammut. It`s kind of a “secret” for what we were working on, although Stefan Schlumpf (the photographer) released a sort of teaser photo which is just below. [singlepic id=349 w=500 h=350 float=center] Yes, I look a bit scary, although can’t we just imagine that I’m sort of superhero? If you’re wondering if I’m wearing a bit of make-up, the answer is yes… 30 minutes of it, and touch-ups here and there :). We worked on a couple shots with this sort of persona, and then another one for the Mammut one. It was a fun time and my first real photo-shoot in a studio. It’s actually a lot more work than I gave credit for. The photographer has something in mind and if you don’t get it 1st, 2nd, 40th try, you shoot again… I was busy doing this for a day just before I left for Vienna. Thursday morning, I took the train to Vienna with Jorg Verhoeven and Nikki De-Leeuw from The Netherlands. It was a pretty easy train ride, and before we knew it, we were taking another couple trains to the hotel. Once in Vienna, I met up with the engaged Alex Puccio and Chris Webb-Parsons from the USA and Australia respectively. Rules meeting… blah blah, sleep. [singlepic id=350 w=350 h=500 float=left] Friday morning was men’s qualifiers and it went pretty well. I did 4 boulders in 5 tries with 5 bonuses in 7. I secured a 6th place position heading into semi-finals. It turns out that for my group, you had to do 4 problems in 7 tries or less…. close. In the other group, it was even closer, and you had to do 3 problems flash or more. The problems in Vienna were actually pretty cool as they made the two groups on almost identical problems. Two of the 5 problems were 99% identical, and I say 99% because 100% is impossible. The other 3 problems were all pretty similar moves, just in different angles. It was pretty cool to see and I find they did a good job. They did the same thing for the women, and after knowing their style from the men, again it was pretty cool to see. Saturday were semis and finals, with semis passing in the morning. By 8:30, I think I was back in isolation with Alex Puccio. She had a somewhat bad qualifiers and hasn’t felt so good ever since being a bit sick in China. I tried to tell her that she looked strong and would do fine. I believed it too! I hoped she climbed like I knew she could and just crushed the semis. I came out after a standard warm-up and was feeling super good. I felt good in my warm up, and looked at the first problem with eager fingers. The first one had all massive holds on it, and looked like a hard top. I fell a couple of times before the bonus, trying to figure out where to grab it. I finally ended up crossing to the bonus on my last try but falling on the last move, tickling the final “sloper, pinch”. It turned out that if I’d have stuck that last move, I could’ve just packed up my stuff and waited to finals. I didn’t know that and didn’t do the problem so I continued. The rest of the semis can be summed up in two words…. TOO HARD. Only half of the semi-finalists grabbed zone on the second problem and one lone competitor from France (Jeremy Bonder) managed to do the seeming impossible slab. I got 3 bonuses in 5 tries although I couldn’t get bonus on number 2. It turned out that all you had to do was put one finger on the zone “volume” to get credit for the hold. [singlepic id=351 w=500 h=350 float=right] You may ask why I wouldn’t have known that, being a world cup competitor. Well the thing is that I’ve done that exact thing, one finger on the hold, and they didn’t give it to me (Vail 2011). I locked off, touched the hold with one finger for the 3 seconds, came down and then fell. They said I wasn’t in control of the hold…. I appealed…. and lost. I figured this was the same thing… although it wasn’t…. so the IFSC rules still bug me a bit. I could write many thousands words on this matter so I’ll leave it at that. I finished in 9th place, in which I was pretty happy. If I would’ve lifted my middle finger while hugging the volume on 2 and touched the bonus volume on the bottom, I would’ve been in finals…. That’s just part of the game, and I lost this round. Oh well, I still came 9th 🙂 I went out for lunch with the Austrians after that, and then figured out where to stay that night. Because some of the French team was going to be on the same flight as me back to Toulouse, I crashed with them. After a few pre-finals drinks, we were back watching finals, and the route setters made up for their poor performance in the semis. On the men’s side, all 4 problems were done, and the winner, Rustam Gelmanov did all 4. Second place went to the other strong Russian Dmitrii Sharafutdinov. Third place was secured by none other than the Austrian superstar Kilian Fischhuber. On another note, one of my French friends Jeremy Bonder made his first finals and although still managing to do 2 finals problems, he finished 6th! Full results for men can be found HERE. [singlepic id=352 w=500 h=350 float=center] On the women’s side, it was also a great finals with Akiyo Noguchi taking it down by being the only women to top all 4 problems. Mina Markovic of Slovenia did 3 problems are took second. American Alex Puccio flashed two finals problems and took 3rd. It was a great finals followed by dinner and some festivities! Full results for womens can be found HERE. [singlepic id=353 w=500 h=350 float=center] As I said before, training is back in full swing for me, and I’m still stoked for boulder World Cups. I leave May 17th for Innsbruck!
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I have only been in one of my local comps and came 3rd in my age category.