I still can't believe it. After being really close already three times this season, I managed to make finals in a Worldcup for the first time yesterday! This has been a really big dream for years. Last week in Mokpo I was feeling really good, my elbow injury had recovered and I had the mental part under control, but I just came a plus short for finals. Making finals was possible, but the mental game had started.
After the Worldcup in Mokpo we spent about a week in Seoul before travelling to China. Ulf and I wanted to see a lot of Seoul. You don't travel all the way to Asia to spend all day in the climbing gym and on your hotel room, right? So, in between the training sessions, we did a lot of sightseeing. All the nice, new impressions kept my mind of the competitions completely for a while. This worked out really well. I was super relaxed when we left Korea.
Arriving in China was kind of hard after the really nice experiences we had in Korea. Everything was dirty, grey and poor and the food was simply disgusting. Luckily the organization had arranged a really nice hotel, which made the stay much more pleasant. Besides my back had started to ache pretty bad from all the travelling and I felt a bit sick all the time. Not the best preparation for a competition. In qualification I climbed a bit tensed, but unlike normal, I could really fight while being pumped. In semifinals it was the same story. It was definitely not a perfect climb. I got really tensed on the straight wall in the middle of the route. After that part I clipped all the draws way too late, which resulted in a lot of back- and forth climbing. But unlike normal I just kept on sticking the hold. Every time I could find a place to rest again to get my head right for the next couple of moves. It turned out to be enough for finals!
Just before finals I was super tensed, but in a really weird, chaotic way. Luckily this feeling disappeared when I started climbing. I could take my time to figure out the tricky, hard parts and when I fell, I was completely pumped. It resulted in a 6th place. It was an amazing experience to climb finals!
All together I really enjoyed the whole Asia trip. Special thanks to Mammut, for making it possible! Right now I'm heading back to Holland, really psyched to get back to training for the last two Worldcups!