20 oktober 2013

Worldcup Wujiang, 6th!

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!

13 oktober 2013

9th at Worldcup Mokpo, Korea

About a week ago I left Holland and travelled far east for the next Worldcup of the season. First stop was Seoul. We stayed in this massive city for one afternoon. After some sleep we went into town to find ourselves surrounded by little restaurants and markets. The first impression was great. The people here are so friendly and helpful! They really made us feel comfortable and at home. The next morning we took the train to Mokpo, a small city in the very south of Korea where the next Worldcup was being held. The organization had arranged a hotel where we could stay with all the competitors together. Food and transfer to the competition venue were all provided, so we could focus completely on climbing in this country where everything is so much different than at home.

The competition wall turned out to be amazing and the routes looked really cool! I got really psyched for climbing. Since I returned home from Russia my elbow was feeling much better and I had been feeling really strong in the trainings. This confirmation was exactly what I needed, together with some sun and an inspiring route. I got it all and I managed to top out both qualification routes the first day. The next day, in semifinals, I climbed really relaxed. I think I have never been able to climb semi's as relaxed and focused as I did here in Korea. I could take my time to look around, come up with different solutions and in the end I fell because I was too pumped. It turned out that I would just have needed to stick the hold I touched last, then I would have made finals. I ended up 9th, really satisfied about my climbing but also a little bit disappointed that I was so close to finals.

The disappointment has gone now and I just feel really satisfied. We are back in Seoul at the moment, where we will enjoy being in Korea, do some sightseeing and some training. On thursday we will head to China for the next Worldcup.

1 oktober 2013

Worldcup Perm - 13th

Although the trip to Russia was an amazing experience I will never forget, I am happy to be back in Amsterdam. I think I have never been in a place as depressing as Perm before. Everything is grey; the houses, the sky, the streets, even the cars lost all their colour by the dust they are covered in. The first day we decided to buy some food in a small supermarket. When we opened up our groceries everything turned out to be tasteless and many products had past the expiration date. Although this all sounds really bad, it was actually pretty much fun. we just laughed about all the weird things we saw and didn't take things too seriously. 

I had to handle the competition the same way. Just before my first qualification route the organization decided to change the cleaning time. Normally I would be the last climber before the cleaning, but now they wanted to clean first. So I laughed and went off to warm up a bit more. 5 minutes later Mathieu (coach / fysiotherapist) hurried towards me and told me that they had changed their mind again. A similar situation occurred just before I had to climb in the semi-finals. Normally this would have stressed me out completely and I wouldn't have been able to climb properly anymore. This time it made me a bit more tensed. In qualifications I managed to reset during the route and I topped out both qualifications. In semifinals I kept climbing a bit tensed. I could execute the moves smoothly, but the tension on my muscles was much higher than normal. That made me feel really empty all of a sudden. I could make one more move and fell. It was enough for a 13th place.

The climbing was ok, at least much better then in Puurs last week, but I still feel much more is possible. My elbow improved a lot and didn't really hurt during climbing! I think we're back on progression ;) On the way back we had 10 hours transfer time in Moscow, so we decided to take a quick look in the city. One thing became clear, all the money that definitely wasn't spend in Perm was used here to build enormous palaces. The contradiction was bizar. We ticked the red square from the 'places you have to see once in your life' list, walked a bit around to get an impression of the city and then returned to the airport to fly back home. Many thanks to Mammut for making this trip possible and to Medicort for sending Mathieu with me.