By Half A Move, TwiceIn the past two world cup competitions I’ve missed the final round by a mere half a movement. Such is the nature of the game when competing at a high level but it still stings to think about it. I also try to think about the times I’ve been lucky this year including my double silver medal in China! [singlepic id=726 h=350 float=right] Two weeks ago was the last Boulder World Cup of the year held in Laval France. It marked the 8th boulder world cup of the year on the season and the 7th for me. Qualifiers were a nail biter for me as I still felt like I was recovering from the China weekend 4 days prior. Getting home from China was a nightmare with 7 hours of delays to my flights including landing at an alternate airport because no one could land at the one I was supposed to land at. Eventually I did get back to my home and had days of rest before heading to Laval. As I said qualifiers were tense as I did 3 boulders in 5 tries. After watching my position fall lower and lower I was in 10th position in my group with only 10 competitors advancing to semi-finals. [singlepic id=729 h=350 float=right] I watched at least 4 other climbers climb multiple problems and if they topped it, they would knock me out. I didn’t climb well in qualifiers but it was still a stressful hour. By the end of the day, I would be the ONLY climber advancing to semis with only 3 boulders. In semi-finals, I climbed well but fell off the final move of the first slab boulder. I did the other 3 boulders in 5 tries. That last move of the first boulder cost me my finals and to make finals you merely had to top the 4 boulders. It sucked to finish in 7th place, one out of finals but in the end I just couldn’t do that last move and it cost me. In Finals for the men would be Jan Hojer, Rustam Gelmanov and 4 French athletes. There was a lot of chatter about how so many French made it to finals but that’s not what this post is about. [singlepic id=730 w=500 h= float=center] I watched a pretty interesting finals for both men and women and in the end Rustam was the only man to send 4 boulders and Akiyo Noguchi sent the women’s 4th boulder to secure her victory. For the Overall it was also Akiyo who won and for the men it was Jan. This past weekend was the 2nd lead world cup in Chamonix France and I had a good week to get back to lead training. It’s always the hardest in the first two weeks of lead training but the last training day before Chamonix I finally had my small breakthrough and felt confident doing my circuits. In China I knew I had gotten lucky and I felt like I would be able to climb more normally for my style here in Chamonix. Joining me in France would be Elan Jonas-Mcrae and Matthew Wellington for lead and Robert Stewart-Patterson for Speed. [singlepic id=731 w=500 h= float=center] The qualifiers went super well for me and by the end of that day I was in 2nd place. Unfortunately none of the other Canadian athletes made the semi-finals. Speed qualifiers were the second day and everyone felt like the holds just seemed better at this competition. In the qualifying round, I set a close to personal best with 9.11 (pb = 8.83) and Robert set his personal best of 6.80. The world records for both men and women were also achieved but unfortunately the wall didn’t pass the homologation so the times cannot be official and will not be written to the books. Semi-finals for lead were Saturday morning and it was much warmer than during the qualifications. That’s a good thing because most people got frozen fingers during the qualification. After preview, we knew the route looked hard but we weren’t expecting what we got when we climbed it. I was 2nd to last out and the route was insanely hard right off the bat. Everyone move seemed hard and uncomfortable. I climbed up near half way before royally messing up a sequence and falling. The hard and annoying part was that I previewed it the “right” way, but chose to adapt my sequence while climbing and it turned out to be my failure. Here’s the live stream queued up to my start. There were also another 7-8 competitors who made the same error as me so that made me feel better. I also found out a while later that while I was messing up the sequence, if I would have just faked a match and jumped towards the next hold, I would’ve gotten the “plus” and advanced to finals. That made me a bit sad but the thing was I wasn’t too tired when I was messing up the sequence. I thought I could reverse it and keep going. If I would’ve been really pumped, I would’ve just jumped for the next hold but instead I tried to do the movement and it cost me the finals. It’s unfortunate but that’s just the nature of competitions! This time I was unlucky but I still feel like I’m climbing very well so I’m pretty excited for the next world cup which is next week in Briancon!
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