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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Last World Cup of 2013

I’m almost feeling nostalgic knowing that I won’t compete in a world cup for at least 4 months. I said almost because I’m ready for a break from everything that comes with world cup climbing; good and bad. In the last event of 2013 I didn’t climb very well; it’s a bit sad to see my final place at 10th but good things come along with that specific number as well!

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This past weekend was the last world cup of the season; it was a lead event and took place in Kranj Slovenia. Earlier this year I won my first Bouldering world cup not so far away in Log-Dragomer. I was excited for the weekend having won the event in 2011. In 2012 I came to this event pretty sick and finished in 12th place. This year, I was sick in Valence so I was glad I got that out of the way.

I made the trip out there on Friday the 15th. A couple of flights from Toulouse and I was picked up by Christina Stutz and Jessica Pilz in Salzburg to finish the trip. Qualifiers for the men were the morning of the 16th; nothing out of the ordinary happened. I topped both my qualifiers along with another 13 climbers. The routes felt good, I slowed down my climbing to get used to the wall and was feeling good. One thing that I don’t like is doing the semi-finals on the same day as the qualifiers. I prefer the balance of doing 2 routes on each day over 3:1. [assuming of course I made finals :)]

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In between men’s qualifiers and semifinals were the women’s qualifiers. I chilled in my hotel, played my first LoL game with Hyunbin, Jakob, Mario and Lucas then just relaxed. A few hours later we were back in semifinals isolation.

Some people might look at my 10th place finish and start looking for excuses; honestly I have none. There are a few things that didn’t align perfectly leading up to the event but that’s pretty normal. I had a good warm up, I was having good times with my friends and I felt good starting the route.

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On the route, I didn’t climb very well. The biggest challenge I faced while climbing in this round was the inability to find a good rhythm. I also didn’t feel very comfortable going through the route. At halfway, I knew I had been climbing slowly and I tried to speed up. After making a big error in one of the cross overs I started to get pumped. I still managed to fight for 4-5 moves but fell with my hands just opening up. It’s the worst kind of pump for me. I can’t fight anymore, I can’t power myself through the moves and I just fall, slowly but surely.

As I fell, I was disappointed. I knew I hadn’t climbed very well which saddened me. I untied and waved at the crowd while smiling. Without knowing results, I knew that the chances were pretty high that this might be my last lead climb of the year. I tried to think of the whole season in that moment, not the last climb.

I didn’t even know final results for a long time after; I didn’t really want to know. I wanted to watch the rest of semi-finals and be happy for my friends who would advance into finals. After I watched everyone climb, I found out I finished 10th. Funny enough that cheered me up pretty quickly. Why you ask does that cheer me up? Some of you already know why but it’s purely so I can make the following statement!

“I finished in the top-10 in every Lead and Boulder event in 2013”

Yes, I missed finals by a few holds but still finish 10th. Whenever I don’t climb well, I can’t be unhappy if I don’t make finals. I’m the first one to say that I should’ve climbed better, not that everyone else should’ve climbed worse…

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The next morning I had absolutely nothing to do… I woke up, had some IFSC meetings in the morning and played games in the afternoon. Finals were to start at 5pm and I was pretty stoked to broadcast on the live stream. I tried to think about what I would say and what not to say as well.

I met up with Dan and the rest of the broadcasting team up in the booth 15 minutes before the observation and the next couple of hours went pretty fast. I don’t even know how long I was broadcasting for, but it was tons of fun. I’ll admit that broadcasting for the men is much easier than for the women. I can just tell when the men will fall, rest and clip and with the women… well I can’t as accurately.

Jakob Schubert won his 3rd world cup of 2013 in exciting fashion falling on the last move. Adam Ondra and Sachi Amma filled the podium falling mere moves below. On the women’s side, some of the favourites seemed to get bogged down on a difficult move at two-thirds. From what I could see, they really wanted to full crimp one of the holds that you should (imo) pinch. The problem was that the crimp was too close to the wall behind it and there wasn’t enough room to full crimp. The next option is open crimp or pinch. Mina Markovic from Slovenia who ended up finishing 3rd spent over a minute deciphering what to do before finally just committing. She fell a few moves later just running out of juice. A similar thing happened to Jain Kim from Korea who ended up finishing 4th. Momoka Oda and Akiyo Noguchi were the only two girls to climb higher. They fell on what seemed to be the same move but after a closer analysis Momoka was awarded a + thus giving her the victory.

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After the finals finished, there were a bunch of awarding ceremonies. For the overall 2013 World Cup the podiums were as follows:

Women’s Overall:

  1. Jain Kim – 625
  2. Mina Markovic – 605
  3. Momoka Oda – 491

Men’s Overall:

  1. Sachi Amma – 572
  2. Jakob Schubert – 535
  3. Ramon Julian-Puigblanque – 420

For the combined overall (lead, boulder, speed) podiums were as follows:

Women’s Combined:

  1. Mina Markovic – 648
  2. Akiyo Noguchi – 634
  3. Momoka Oda – 628

Men’s Combined:

  1. Jakob Schubert – 755
  2. Sean McColl – 651
  3. Sachi Amma – 507

Now that the lead season is over, I get to think back on how long it really was. I started training in early January getting my strength back. My first world cup of the year was in April and I’ve been going non-stop since then. Because this post is already a nice length, I’ll sign off here and write another next week reflecting on the season!

I also have one more competition of the year, the La Sportiva Legends in Stockholm.

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Comments (3)

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    Huge congratulations, Sean! Second overall, a great result for another tough season on the circuit. Have fun in your off-season, try to get more (outdoor) bouldering in this year! 😉


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    Amazing and inspiring as always. I really like the attitude and find it hard for myself to feel that way after not climbing well at a comp. Also, play Dota 2 if you haven’t already!
    Congrats on a great season!


    • Avatar

      Sean McColl


      I have over 500 wins on dota2! I played LoL just because that’s what those other guys play and I prefer to play in teams. Thanks!


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